A Q&A With Quirky Chocolate Posted on 28 Sep 14:00

Cranachan white chocolate - inspired by the Scottish dish

Based in Edinburgh, at the foot of Arthur's Seat, Quirky Chocolate is a fiercely independent business creating beautiful products, inspired by their values of inclusivity and kindness. Perfectly combining the work of talented in-house chocolatiers and the creativity of artists and designers to make delicious chocolate in exquisite packaging.

Creative Director and Founder of Quirky Chocolate, Sandra Colamartino, graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art. She started Quirky Chocolate in 2008 where she has been putting her talent for designing new products to good use ever since! We asked Sandra a few questions about her experiences and the creative process.


Favourite chocolate from childhood?
I remember the thrill of my dad driving to Edinburgh to go to Valvona and Crolla to pick up Italian goodies - and he would always bring us back a jar of Nutella. The rules in the house - it had to be spread on bread!

How did you become a chocolatier?
I studied graphic design at art college where I fell in love with designing packaging. My jobs in publishing and as a magazine editor took me further away from this. So, age 40, I took the plunge to resign and do more of what I loved - packaging. I chose chocolate because I love the dinky size and flexibility of designing chocolate wrappers, and I’m addicted to chocolate!

What is your favourite flavour combination?
I love fruit and nut combinations in milk and dark chocolate.

What is the most important element in the chocolate making process for you?
Mixing the right flavours with the right chocolate type is so important. White chocolate really brings out the flavour of gin for example, and I am very lucky to be guided through this process by our talented chocolatiers.

How do you find inspiration for your ranges and products?
By staying curious - I very rarely stop thinking about quirky chocolate ideas. I love trying new things, many of which don’t work! Adding new flavours and products is very much a collaborative approach within team Quirky. We all are quite opinionated and this is a good thing. We also go with the mantra ‘just do it’ - and if it doesn’t work life will go on!

What do you use to track and plan your work and product development?
We use Trello to keep on top of production and use Slack to communicate with each other daily, as we are split into different rooms working in different areas of the business. So whether you are making chocolate in the kitchen, packing orders, or developing new products, we can talk to each other easily via the Slack app on our phones. When I am designing I work alone as I am too easily distracted in the office!

What tip would you give to your younger self?
Don’t waste too much time and energy worrying about what hasn't happened yet.
What do you like to do when you are not making chocolate?
Cycling and spending time with my partner and two spaniels in our slightly dilapidated but adorable camper van. It’s a bit of a squash but I wouldn’t change it for the world!

What are you working on next?
Christmas of course - chocolate sprout production is in full flow and we have several new special edition Christmas bars about to launch in October. Our latest big idea is Collaboration Chocolate - where we put other artists' work on chocolate and pay them a royalty fee. I am excited to see where this takes us.

You can see our range of Quirky Chocolate products here