Dunedin is a city with a reputation for quality, but a growing number of artisanal chocolate makers are now moving their factories into the city centre.
The Dunedin chocolate makers, who are mainly self-taught and small businesses, are hoping that this will allow them to create a more affordable, sustainable and artisanal product.
They have been sourcing from the Dunedin Mills factory, which is one of the largest in the world.
“I feel like I’m on a different planet now,” says Amanda Kappel, the founder of Dunedin Chocolate.
“We’ve had a lot of chocolate in Dunedin for so long, it’s not really a place to be.”
The factory produces about a million chocolate bars per year, making it one of New Zealand’s largest artisan chocolate producers.
The owners are selling the finished product at prices around $1 per bar.
This means they can pay their employees and customers a lot less than if they had to make their chocolate from the ground up.
“You could go to the factory, and there’s so much chocolate in there, it would be a really difficult product to make,” Kappels husband, John Kappelt, said.
“It’s the perfect place to make a chocolate bar.”
A lot of the chocolate in the factory is sourced from local farmers, and the workers are paid a fair wage.
“If you go to an industrial park and there are workers on a wage that is so low, it could just be a case of a few poor kids getting a little bit more than they should have,” Mr Kappet said.
The company is also working to bring the factory back into Dunedin.
The city is also home to the Dunelans first and only craft beer festival, the Dunels Beerfest, which attracts thousands of people each year.
“There are lots of people who want to come to Dunedin because of the amazing culture, but also because the food is delicious,” Mr Todhunter said.
He said that with the growing number and variety of artisan products being made in Dunels chocolate factory, it was important to start offering a more inclusive experience.
“People want to eat food, they want to drink beer and they want the environment to be a little cleaner,” he said.
A lot more people than ever are interested in getting involved in the Dunewells beer festival.
“So far this year we’ve had more than 1,500 people come to us for a taste, so there’s been a lot more interest,” he explained.
“Most of the interest has come from people who just want to have a taste of a beer or a snack, and they just want a chance to try something new.”
The Dunelan chocolate factory is the second biggest in New Zealand after Dunedin City, and produces more than 50 million chocolate bar bars a year.
The production of the Dunellans craft beer is also growing.
Dunelangans beer festival will be held in March next year.