Chocstock Is Back For 2024 — and the Founders Want You to Know That Chocolate Isn't Just For Kids

After a sweet success in 2021, 30 craft chocolate makers will be showing off their skills on Wellington's waterfront this June.
Emma Clark-Dow
March 15, 2024

Who said loving chocolate was just for children? Following a sold-out festival in 2021, Chocstock is making its triumphant return on Friday, June 21–Sunday, June 23. This weekend-long festival is a celebration of chocolate for adults, with craft chocolate makers hailing from Australia, the Pacific and right here in Aotearoa showing off their skills on Wellington's stunning waterfront.

The festival has tripled in size since the first event in 2021, when only ten chocolate makers took part. This year, 30 chocolate experts will be showing chocolate lovers what this sweet treat is all about, and the careful ethical process of getting it from the cacao bean into a beloved chocolate bar.

As well as chocolate makers providing a sweet education, there will be tastings galore, with chocolate and Coffee Supreme pairings; chocolate and beer pairings and a brownie bake-off. By incorporating the two things Wellington is known for — coffee and beer — Chocstock founders Matt Williams and Luke Owen Smith are showing tourists and locals that craft chocolate has a place in the capital, too.

"We consider it the home of Kiwi craft chocolate," Smith said. "While the craft chocolate movement is growing all the time, many chocolate lovers are yet to be introduced to this exciting new world — we're hoping Chocstock will help spark fresh curiosity about craft chocolate and what's possible from speciality cocoa beans."

New Zealand chef and founder of Auckland's Homeland Peter Gordon is the ambassador of the chocolate drenched event, confessing his love for the creamy treat. Gordon is no stranger to the importance of ethics when it comes to sourcing and chocolate making, working with Pacific food producers in his restaurant.

"New Zealand's craft chocolate scene has incredible origin stories," Gordon said. "These makers are bringing something new to the table - allowing people to understand where their chocolate comes from."

Chocstock will be held at Wellington's Harbourside Centre from Friday, June 21-Sunday, June 2023. For more information and to buy tickets, head to the festival's website.

Published on March 15, 2024 by Emma Clark-Dow
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