Made in Vancouver is a collaboration between Vancity and Daily Hive. Together, we’re turning the spotlight onto local businesses, organizations, and individuals who are helping to create a healthy local economy.
Have a sweet tooth? this woman-and visible minority-owned business is offering clean, and cruelty-free ingredients in their treats.
Living Lotus Chocolate creates beautiful desserts and bean-to-bar chocolate that are gluten-free, vegan and are refined sugar-free.
As part of our Made in Vancouver series spotlighting local businesses, we talked to Audrey Wong, founder of Living Lotus Chocolate, about starting a healthy dessert company that is ethically sourced.
Vancity has been supporting local businesses like Living Lotus Chocolate with different programs. Now until Sept 30, Vancity enviro™ Visa* cardholders will earn 1.5x the rewards points at select businesses through the Load Up on Local program. To learn more, visit vancity.com/local
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Wong decided to open up a healthy chocolate company because of her own food journey.
“I was working in film and I started supplementing my meals with cleaner plant-based meals. Feeling like I had the answer to more energy I decided to go to school to learn about raw culinary and nutrition,” she said.
“I have a major sweet tooth, it was a no-brainer to start a dessert company. Then the cacao bean found me and chocolate won.”
The Lotus symbol in her company also stands for her career journey.
“It grows from mud and turns into this beautiful flower. It’s also a symbol of transformation which I thought was perfect since I was leaving my full-time career to start something new,” she said.
In 2013, the company opened and their most popular dessert became their chocolate ganache. After, they starting learning, researching and playing with all things chocolate — learning more about the cacao bean.
“The cacao bean is so complex, it’s like magic. We’ve always been a vegan company, and by adding bean to bar chocolate we get to source from the farmers who take so much care and attention to the cacao trees, harvesting, and fermenting the beans. This ensures we are a cruelty-free company,” said Wong.
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Today, they offer a different variety of chocolate from their studio in Vancouver.
You can find bean-to-bar chocolates in 3 flavours including blonde, oat milk, and 70 per cent Dark. Also, a wide variety of made-to-order vegan and gluten-free desserts including truffles, macaroons, and custom cakes.
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Wong said it’s important to think about where our food comes from.
“Chocolate isn’t merely just a product you buy in a store. Chocolate comes from a tree, a farmer plants the seeds, harvests the cacao beans and then the beans go through post-harvest practices like fermenting and drying,” she said.
“By supporting the farmers directly and purchasing cacao that isn’t from the commodity chain, we are supporting them and ensuring they are treated fairly and getting paid a fair wage.”
Living Lotus Chocolate offers curbside pick-up at 780 East Cordova Street in Vancouver and online purchases across Canada.