It’s been just over a year since I moved to Accra, and since the publication of Cocoa, my book on industry politics. I’ve spent that time re-immersing in Ghana’s cocoa environment—a lot has changed since the last time I lived here, in 2005. For one thing, it’s not just about cocoa anymore: now, there is chocolate.
Until just a few years ago, the only domestic chocolate in Ghana was the suite of Golden Tree brands, whose most well known bar is the iconic milk chocolate Kingsbite. Today, there are at least a dozen chocolate makers and confectioners operating commercially, with more in early stages, and many more making other cocoa-based products, including for beauty and healthcare. Even as I write this, the inaugural meeting of the Cocoa & Artisanal Chocolate Association of Ghana is happening not far from where I live in Accra. There are enough cocoa and chocolate craftspeople and entrepreneurs here now to assert some collective power and shape the sector to their mutual benefit.
After witnessing this new energy around chocolate, I started teaching a series called “Discover Chocolate”—three classes on cocoa and chocolate history, manufacture, politics, and more. I devote a class to Ghana, from its long and dedicated history of growing cocoa to its new chocolate. In Made in Ghana, as it’s called, we taste about a dozen locally made cocoa and chocolate products. One of the hardest things about prepping for that session is deciding what not to include in the tasting. There are now way more bars and confections than we can realistically taste in an hour!
Another challenge is procuring the chocolate and confections. There is not enough of a cool chain in Ghana to make distribution easy for any chocolate company, large or small, and it’s difficult to store chocolate here. I keep a lot of chocolate at home for classes, tastings, sharing with friends, and eating. I have a dedicated cool room where the air conditioning unit stays on all the time, at a temperature that keeps chocolate stable. Last week, I returned home from a ten-day trip abroad and discovered that, at some point, the air conditioner had failed. I’m not sure when it happened, but even if it had been just an hour before I walked in the door, the damage would have been done. It doesn’t take long in Accra’s 90 degree temperatures for chocolate to become a sticky glop. My bags and boxes and packages of it, which I cooled back down as soon as possible, are of course now all bloomed, and some are in funny post-melt shapes. For me, this is inconvenient and a little sad. If I was selling chocolate as my business, it would have been disastrous.
As such, chocolate makers and confectioners in Accra do not make a lot of stock available on retail shelves, and only in a few places that can keep the ambient temperature more or less constant. Instead, many fulfill orders on demand, with direct delivery or pickup service. With no central location for finding these chocolates, I decided to create a directory. Having taught my Made in Ghana class now several times, I’ve figured out where and how to buy most local chocolates and cocoa products, and have shared what I know below.
Retail spaces in Accra come and go, and stocks are not always consistent. This list is as current as I can make it for May 2019, and I will update it when I can. For this directory, I’ve only included edibles—I’ll tackle health and beauty products in a future post. So that you can find your favorite chocolate, or see what’s available where you shop, I’ve organized first by brand and then by retail location.
Enjoy your Made in Ghana chocolate!
Where to by chocolate: By brand
- ’57 Chocolate: Small batch bean to bar chocolate, by Kim and Priscilla Addison. Place your order via email, phone, WhatsApp, and social media messaging. They ship internationally. Also available at the pharmacies in Movenpick and Kempinski hotels. If you are flying out of Ghana, ’57 Chocolate is available at the Wild Gecko shop in Kotoka airport. In the US, you can order ’57 Chocolate online at Nubian Heuman and Soul and Story.
- Bon Chocolat Ghana: Artisanal confections with Ghanaian fruit and nuts by Jessica Ayivor. Order online. There is also usually a Bon Chocolat table at the DuBois Centre first Saturday market.
- Chocoluv: Artisanal confections with Ghana chocolate couverture by Monica Senanu. Order online.
- Cocoaline: Artisanal confections by Justine Tagbor. There is usually a Cocoaline table at the DuBois Centre first Saturday market, and sometimes at Labone Saturday market, next to Labone coffee shop.
- DecoKraft: Liquor to bar chocolate (Greetings from Ghana brand), confections, and cakes by Akua Donkor. Order online. DecoKraft products are also available at Wild Gecko Handicrafts, mSimps African goods store in Osu, and GOIL filling stations at Mile 7 and Sakaman.
- Golden Tree: Industrial bean to bar chocolate, as well as cocoa drinks, chocolate spread, couverture, and semi-finished products. The bars are widely available in grocery stores, Shell stations, outdoor markets, and from traffic vendors. The easiest bar to find is Kingsbite. A list of active distributors of Golden Tree products is here.
- Maison Kwame: Small batch bean to bar chocolate and confections by Souad Mohsen. Available at Orchidea Flowers & Café in Airport.
- Midunu Chocolates: African-inspired artisanal confections by Selassie Atadinka. Order online. Wild Gecko Handicrafts also carries 6-piece boxes.
- Niche: Industrial bean to bar chocolate and semi-finished products. Niche bars are widely available in supermarkets, including Koala and MaxMart.
- Ohene Cocoa: Cocoa bean and nib based products. Order via email and WhatsApp. Also available most Saturdays at DuBois Centre, next to the Sowgreen Organic farm stand; on first Saturdays, look for the Ohene table at the craft market. Certain products are also available from Native Juice at the Labone Saturday market, next to the Labone coffee shop, and at Wild Gecko Handicrafts (Accra and Kotoka locations).
- Omama Royal: This new brand is made by CPC, the same (government-owned) company that makes Golden Tree. Omama Royal bars are available at MaxMart 37, and they take bulk orders via email.
- Sekoe Chocolates: Confections and fountains made with Ghana chocolate couverture. Order online.
- The Sweet Art Co.: Small batch bean to bar chocolate (Moments brand) by Ruth Amoah. Order online via Facebook and buy direct at Clifton Homes. Ships internationally. Also available at Skin Gourmet and Naya Naturals at A&C shopping center. If you are flying out of Kotoka, look for The Sweet Art Co. at Shidaa Shop.
Where to buy chocolate: By location
- Koala Supermarkets: Koala markets carry an extensive chocolate selection, including Niche, Cadbury, Mars, and Nestlé products.
- MaxMart 37: One of Accra’s largest selections of international and domestic chocolate brands, including Golden Tree, Omama Royal, Niche, Green & Blacks, Waitrose, Ferrero, Cadbury, Mars, Belle France, Ritter Sport, Kinder, Nestlé, Toblerone, and more.
- Mint Club: This fitness club at Meridian Apartments hosts a quarterly market, and several local cocoa and chocolate companies have a table there. Market schedule available on the Mint Club Facebook page.
- Orchidea Flowers & Café: An elegant café serving chocolate cookies and cakes, as well as Maison Kwame bars and confections.
- Shell filling stations: Pretty much every Shell station shop carries Golden Tree chocolate, and other brands too, including Niche.
- Simply Healthy: Along with an excellent range of organic foods, this shop in Labone is the only place I know in Accra that sells Divine Chocolate and Seed & Bean.
- Wild Gecko Handicrafts: One of the best places to shop for crafts in Accra, Wild Gecko carries Greetings from Ghana bars, Midunu confections (mixed box of 6), and Ohene Cocoa products. The Wild Gecko shop in Kotoka airport also has ’57 Chocolate (and Cocoa!)
- W.E.B. DuBois Centre: On the first Saturday of every month, the DuBois Centre hosts a large craft and food market, and several local companies usually have a table there, including Bon Chocolat Ghana, Cocoaline, and Ohene Cocoa. There is a smaller market on third Saturdays. Ohene Cocoa has a table near the Sowgreen organic farm stand nearly every Saturday.