our story...

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Denman Island Chocolate, located in British Columbia's beautiful Gulf Islands, was created in 1998 by Daniel and Ruth Terry. Long interested in the organic food movement, the Terrys left the big city for Denman Island in 1994, looking for a more rural lifestyle in which to bring up their two sons and thinking of starting a market gardening business.

Finding that a great many of their fellow islanders were already self-sufficient in vegetables, they turned (as ever) to chocolate, a shared love that dated back to their search for the perfect fuel while bicycle touring in northern France.

Thus was born Denman Island Chocolate, a business which caters to those who like their chocolate organic and dark. Denman Island Chocolate bars are sold in retail outlets across Canada and the United States, making it possible to eat good chocolate while looking at either the Atlantic or the Pacific, the prairies or a mountain range.

Ruth died in 2004, but we continue to make chocolate the way she would have wanted us to. Anika Harrer joined Daniel on Denman Island in 2017, bringing new ideas and energy, and the skills needed to make us especially delicious. We are Canada’s organic chocolate company and we bring you the best.

the chocolate factory

At Denman Island Chocolate we believe in the importance of beauty in all aspects of our business. We start with our factory. Think factory and you might imagine concrete blocks and smokestacks. Well, we wanted to do things differently. Our factory is perched on top of a bluff overlooking ocean and mountains. We are surrounded by trees that are protected by a permanent conservation covenant we put in place in 2006. The building itself is all curves, with lots of wood and glass. We have used building materials and techniques appropriate for our bioregion, including recycled fir boards and Paperstone countertops (made of recycled cardboard and cashew shell resins) in the staff kitchen. We use a heat pump and wood stove to keep our factory warm in the winter and natural ventilation and tree cover help keep us cool in the summer. We love being surrounded by this beauty. We also think that it is important to create and be a part of beauty in order to make a product that we can make and send to you with the realisation that it doesn't just taste good; it is good.

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denman island

Yes, there really is a Denman Island. It is one of the northern Gulf Islands, a string of small islands dotted through the Salish Sea, which lies between much larger Vancouver Island the British Columbia mainland. It is a short ferry ride from Vancouver Island to Denman Island, where residents and visitors find themselves in a little rural Arcadia. It's green - although heavy logging that took place in the 1990's is only now starting to look a little less brown - and we have lakes and lots of beautiful beaches. Everyone knows everyone else - and everyone else's business - and we don't lock our doors. 

Denman Island may not be the simplest place in which to run a chocolate factory, but it has its perks. The factory is nestled on top of a ridge among arbutus and Douglas Fir trees, with an understory of moss, salal, ferns and - in season - calypso orchids and chocolate orchids. Yes, really.  We see deer walk by our windows almost every day. Bald eagles and turkey vultures ride the thermal currents that sweep up the ridge. And, in the summer, if we're really quiet, we can hear the thin arbutus bark crackle as it peels off the trees. It's a great place to work.