Founded by husband and wife duo Matt and Ish in Edinburgh, Ocelot chocolate is made using only the highest grade organic and fair-trade produce with the packaging designed by the couple and made in the UK.
The couple are self-proclaimed chocolate obsessed. In 2013, two weeks after getting married, the began making chocolate in their apartment kitchen, which they wrapped in cellophane and sold at local farmers markets. Fast forward a few years and they now have a micro chocolate factory in Edinburgh & an amazing little team who bring their chocolate creations to life.
Their chocolate supplier works tirelessly to ensure that the cocoa farmers are given the fair trade and resources to enable them to focus on producing healthy, high quality cocoa and that they are able to not only look after their own families, but also protect the environment and communities around them.
Matt & Ish believe that high-grade dark chocolate is up there with the most special things in the world and should be savoured, with flavour notes that come in waves and linger long after you finish.
Who /what is your inspiration? Anyone creating something that is beautiful and genuinely sustainable. In art we are always inspired by Van Gogh, Matisse, Picasso, Rothko, David Hockney, Joseph and Annie Albers. Colour and form are what speak to us mostly.
How did you get to where you are today? Hard work, courage, tenacity, and talent. When you start with very little money you need a broad range of skills, and to just keep going going going!
What task do you prefer to delegate? We now delegate most aspects of the production - at this point we have made and wrapped enough chocolate bars to not feel guilty about that.
What is the most exciting thing that has happened since you began your journey with Ocelot Chocolate? Getting praise and being approached by shops and brands which we could only have dreamed of when we were starting up. Being described by Courier magazine as 'How to get your branding right' was very flattering, and affirming, since we did it all ourselves.
Which famous person would you love to buy your products and why? To think that anyone regularly buys and enjoys our chocolate as a 'treat' seems like a privilege really.
Do you prefer sketchbook or laptop? Sketchbook for Ish, laptop for Matt
Which is your favourite process - Design or Make? These days we are more focused on the designing.
What constitutes your perfect day off? Our three-year-old son waking up at 8am (in a good mood). A cycle round the park in the sunshine, some good coffee and a cinnamon bun, followed in the afternoon by a bottle of natural wine and a big roast chicken. In bed with a crossword and a good book by 9pm (currently Hillary Mantel for Ish, Murakami for Matt).
Do you have a favourite small brand you are loving at the moment? With all the rain recently we have been enjoying / grateful for our Botan wellies, a Scottish company making wellies from natural rubber. Also a Welsh knitwear company called Mabli - they make lovely things based on Welsh blanket designs.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Ish is very passionate about helping mothers with breastfeeding, so maybe something along those lines. Matt is more keen on bread making, or might try his hand at pottery.
Do you have a studio playlist? Usually just 6music - the machines can be quite noisy! Working from home, it's either podcasts or some easy going jazz.
Tea or coffee in the studio? Coffee, or redbush tea with almond milk.
What can we expect in the future? Making more chocolate from the bean.
A big thank you to Matt for taking time away from chocolate making & bar wrapping to answer our questions
A variety of Ocelot chocolate flavours can be found in our Gift Ideas Collection.
(Photos by Future Positive Studio)