Myrtle and Pepper Fine Chocolates Unplugged

Local Myrtle and pepper Fine Chocolates at Your Food Collective

It’s hard to believe that it’s nearly Easter again!! I’m pretty sure we we’re just enjoying long summer nights at the beach and munching on cold watermelon to pass the time.

Autumn is one of our favourite times of year at Your Food Collective, summer produce is at it’s peak and the nights are so much more supportive for sleep! It also means Easter, and Easter means CHOCOLATE!!

Myrtle and Pepper Fine Chocolate at Your Food Collective

But as the saying goes, not all chocolate is made equally…

So with good chocolate on the mind we caught up with our favourite local chocolatier Rachel from Myrtle and Pepper Fine Chocolates in Lorn. Rachel has a beautiful story and one that will have you licking your lips for delicious, local chocolate when you finish your scroll!!

Myrtle and Pepper Fine Chocolate at Your Food Collective

Rachel, tell us your story, what brought you to Lorn?

We lived in New Zealand and Adelaide before arriving to Lorn about 7 years ago. As soon as we drove through Lorn we knew that we had found our next home. There is something quite English about the look of the suburb (where we’re both from originally) and the community is very welcoming.  My husband Simon is a doctor so we travelled around whilst he was gained experience in his field of pathology.

Tell us about your amazing chocolates and how you ended up at Myrtle and Pepper.

Myrtle & Pepper was born of a business idea I had whilst studying an MBA in 2013.  I was pregnant with our second child at the time therefore took my time to develop the business before launching in 2016. I travelled around Australia meeting producers and worked with Newcastle University to create the beautiful native illustration which is woven throughout our packaging and branding. We had our third (and very much final) child in 2017 so the business has been moving at a slow and steady pace while we navigate the challenges of life with a toddler, very little sleep and a small business. We’ve been very fortunate to win a few major awards in our short time including the Sydney Royal Show for the last two years.  It’s wonderful recognition for our hard work and to know that our customers are receiving products made to the highest possible standards.

Myrtle and Pepper Fine Chocolates at Your Food Collective

What inspires you day to day?

I’m really interested in people and as I work in a kitchen environment most days I like to listen to inspiring podcasts,  we all have our own story to tell and I enjoy learning from and listening to others.  I’m passionate about travel but this has been curtailed somewhat for the past couple of years by our youngest child who doesn’t like being restrained. I’m travelling to Europe this year for two weeks child free as part of my prize for winning the Royal Sydney Show last year.  I have a long list of chocolate related places I’ll be visiting and no doubt will be inspired.

Myrtle and pepper fine chocolates at Your Food Collective

Can you talk us through creating one of your amazing chocolates, from the flavours to the finish.

It begins with the flavour or combination of a couple of flavours.  Because I am working with native ingredients I am introducing beautiful and often unique flavours that the Australian palate in the main hasn’t sampled before. I find this very exciting. 

At the moment I’m working with sunrise limes which look like cumquats and can be eaten whole but taste like a delicious mixture of lime and orange. The flavours work beautifully with riberry which imparts a warm soft clove like flavour. We’ve created a delicious confit with the limes and dip the confit pieces in dark chocolate. They are small and contain many seeds so the process is incredibly time consuming.  We’re looking for ways to streamline the process before we can launch this as a commercially viable product but it will be so worth it. 

We’re also developing a roast macadamia praline which we’re pairing with a caramelised white chocolate.  The deep roasting of the nuts cuts through the sweetness of the chocolate. I don’t have a particularly sweet tooth but I can’t stop eating it, it’s so delicious!!

Myrtle and Pepper fine Chocolates at Your Food Collective

Do you have a food philosophy?

Our food philosophy is to ensure that throughout the food chain the producers who contribute to the products that we use and their workers are treated fairly. This is why we choose fair-trade chocolate. It is more expensive for us to purchase but we have a clear conscience that we are not contributing to child labour and that farmers are working in favourable and sustainable conditions. 

We also do not ever waste food.  Chocolates that don’t make the grade or are in the test stage are placed in ‘seconds’ bags and sold, the profits from this are then donated to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation who's aim to reduce the literacy gap between non indigenous and indigenous communities.

What do you love about YFC?

I love that YFC share one of our core values that people behind the produce are important.  It’s a very honest business and isn’t about contributing to the bottom line at the expense of small producers.

What's your go to in the kitchen at the moment?

I love good healthy food but unfortunately don’t have a great deal of time to spend in the kitchen so my go to in the kitchen is definitely my wonderful husband at the moment.  We’re really excited about YFC opening a hub in Maitland later this year!

What are you looking forward to?

The future. I look forward to one day creating a beautiful chocolate shop where our customers can experience something a million miles away from the usual retail environment.  I also look forward to bringing more wonderful people into our team and watching M&P grow.

Myrtle and Pepper Fine Chocolates at Your Food Collective

Make sure you celebrate your Easter this year with amazing creations from Myrtle and Pepper, the best thing about their chocolate is that it’s good enough to eat guilt free all year round!!



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