Updated: Jan 18, 2022
When Sidney Davies started its chocolate business some 90 years ago, he didn’t know how far it would go. From his kitchen benchtop to the Government House, life was indeed a box of chocolates. Now Davies Chocolates is owned by the Kowald Family.
¨Eat chocolate, enjoyably!¨ - Noel Kowald, Australian chocolatier
At Davies Chocolates, the word 'guilt' is not associated with chocolate. Rather, it is something to be savoured, appreciated and shared.
A genuine Aussie business success story
Davies Chocolates is a genuine Aussie business success story.
It has a rich, nearly 90-year history of making these beautiful treats. The delicious story started in 1932, the same year that the Sydney Harbour Bridge was completed.
Sidney Davies began making chocolates from his home kitchen in Sydney. He was spurred by a passionate belief in crafting chocolate by hand, every step of the way. He created the most scrumptious, delightful assortment of fondants, hard centres, jellies and ginger, all generously coated with a layer of smooth, rich, creamy chocolate.
From his humble home kitchen, Sidney expanded his business with the help of his son-in-law, John Williams. They had tremendous success and soon found themselves supplying these delectable chocolate treats everywhere - to golf and bowling clubs, leagues, RSL and country clubs in NSW. And their delicious treats even made an impression on the Governor at Government House - quite an achievement for a humble piece of chocolate!
Over time, Davies Chocolates became known for their fine quality, handmade chocolate using unique recipes and the best quality ingredients.
In the mid 1980s, Margaret Kimber took over the business. Her contribution was bringing in new and innovative packaging designs. Davies Chocolates became the first to offer picture boxes featuring Australian images to promote their chocolates. Under Margaret's leadership, the business continued to grow and in the early 1990s, she moved the factory to its present location in Kingsgrove, NSW, where Davies Chocolates are still made today using traditional handcrafted chocolate techniques.
Noel and Jeanette Kowald
Throughout its history, Davies Chocolate has had the fortune to have been steered by good leadership. It continues to uphold the finest quality and standard while innovating and growing with the times.
Today, Davies Chocolates is owned by the Kowald family who have been able to expand on Sidney Davies’ vision by bringing Davies Chocolates to the whole of Australia. If Sidney were here today, he would be left quite speechless, and certainly very proud to know that a little treat that was born in his home kitchen is now reaching all corners of Australia.
As the new generation of owners leading Davies Chocolates, Noel Kowald and his wife and business partner, Jeanette have reimagined the business by not only bringing it to the national market, but also in meeting the ever-increasing standards that Australian consumers demand, such as using sustainably and ethically sourced ingredients from Australian suppliers.
Sourcing local: 98.5% Australian ingredients
The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a spotlight on the need to support local businesses in Australia. Not only does supporting local businesses protect local jobs, but it also helps ensure a self-sustaining society in Australia.
Sourcing locally for ingredients is an important differentiating factor for Davies Chocolates.
Noel has thoroughly and thoughtfully studied the Davies Chocolates’ recipes to retain its unique taste, ensuring ingredients and suppliers can deliver the classic Davies’ flavours beloved by Australians for generations.
What is noteworthy here is Davies Chocolates supports local suppliers by depending on them to obtain the ingredients required. Davies Chocolates has an astounding 40 different chocolate treats in their seductively delicious portfolio. This means a challenging variety of colours, flavours, textures, and packaging is required from local suppliers. Only a few additional ingredients are sourced from Europe in order to be faithful to the traditional recipes. This means, if we were to do a DNA test on each little piece of Davies Chocolates, we will discover that each chocolate contains at least 98.5% Australian grown ingredients.
This is one scrumptious piece of chocolate that is proud to be called Australian.
Chocolate goes sustainable
An important piece of sourcing in the chocolate world is, not surprisingly, the cocoa itself.
Davies Chocolates supports Australian growers. Noel and Jeanette go the extra mile to source for Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa. Fair pricing for ethically grown cocoa provides a supportable living for the growers and maintains a sustainable supply for the chocolate industry.
“We believe that sustainability is crucial, so we make sure that what we do contributes towards the future sustainability, not just of our business, but of the economy, the culture and the environment.” - Noel Kowald, Owner of Davies Chocolates
To create a more sustainable chocolate factory, every recipe and ingredient is carefully scrutinised and rationalised.
During this process, Noel and Jeanette discovered that there were two harmful ingredients, palm oil and gluten, that could be eliminated entirely from the production line. By doing this, they have effectively pushed up the quality of the chocolates by yet another notch. When you speak to Noel and Jeanette and see what they do to continually improve their chocolates, you cannot help but fall in love with their business. Their enthusiasm and the pride they take in their chocolate factory really makes you warm towards them. We are already hot for their chocolates, so this has just made us all the more eager to get to know the business.
We are this close to simply camping outside their chocolate factory so we can enjoy the free smells of rich, hot chocolate that waft in the air.
Palm oil and gluten are out
Palm oil and gluten have become highly unpopular ingredients in food products for consumers who are concerned about their health and also the impact these have on the environment.
By making minor tweaks to the traditional recipes, both palm oil and gluten have been completely removed from all Davies Chocolates. This means the factory is free of traces of gluten and palm oil. And all this without sacrificing or changing the taste and quality of the products. If anything, it has improved the quality of the chocolates of this new generation.
In the unlikely event that a supplier might change their own recipes or storage processes without notice, Davies Chocolates does internal spot testing regularly for gluten, and schedules an external tester to inspect and certify the factory twice a year. This is a clear example of the degree of professionalism, responsibility and commitment Davies Chocolates has for their business. For customers on gluten free diets or coeliac sufferers, this provides an enormous sense of relief and trust in all of Davies Chocolates' beautiful creations.
While palm oil is not a dietary constraint the way gluten is, it is gradually becoming a conscious choice of consumers to avoid food products with palm oil. Palm oil farming has been linked to the deforestation of the habitats of many endangered animal species such as the orangutan, pygmy elephant, and Sumatran rhino. Palm oil is often used as a stabiliser in the chocolate creation process and is a shelf-life extender in processed food.
Davies Chocolates continues to produce fresh, handcrafted chocolates from its factory, even without using palm oil. Consumers can sleep easy knowing that they can eat as many Davies Chocolates as they wish, without feeling guilty - not about calories, but about not contributing to the displacement of any indigenous peoples or driving any animals toward extinction.
All natural flavours
Davies Chocolates continues to grow and innovate, and part of that involves expanding its flavour selection. Noel and Jeanette are clear they want to retain the original recipes that have been so beloved by generations of Australians. However, they also realise a business cannot simply stay stagnant and do what it has always done while the world moves on with different and ever-changing demands. So Noel and Jeanette have been going through an ingredient review process to see how they can improve on their chocolates by switching to all-natural flavours.
After a long process, they were rewarded with happy results - they were able to accurately match the same soft centre flavours that Sidney Davies and Margaret Kimber originally established through artificial flavouring. Noel and Jeanette actually managed to transform soft centre chocolates to using natural flavouring without compromising on taste.
It is clear that Davies Chocolates is enjoying the success it has today because through each generation, it has never waned in its dedication and drive. They have never compromised on taste or quality, and the business rejuvenates itself by keeping with the times and doing more than is expected. And as an added magical touch, each piece of finished chocolate is hand packed into boxes, and every single box is individually wrapped, each bow is individually tied... there is so much work that goes into just one single box. This is truly chocolate made with love.
Anyone can expect to eat a delicious piece of chocolate, but to have one that is sustainably produced and made with natural ingredients, and with that individual handmade touch, now that is a whole new league of its own.
Have one more ... and another ... can I have the whole box?
By now, after reading all about chocolates, you must be absolutely craving for one. We certainly are! We are so ready to sink our teeth into a piece of rich, creamy chocolate and feel how smooth and silky the texture is. Chocolate is truly comfort food. It tickles the stomach pink and it is impossible not to smile when eating chocolate!
Davies Chocolates has worked really hard to take the guilt out of eating chocolate and to put in the joy and pleasure of it. A piece of chocolate really cannot get any better than this - traditional, all natural, sustainable, palm-oil-free and gluten-free, locally made... do you need further convincing?
We are so ready to order a few boxes of Davies Chocolates to slowly savour them and discover all the different flavours they have. But this is actually the most difficult part of the process. How do you begin to choose which ones to start with? The crowd pleasers are the hard centres, soft centres, dark ginger chocolates, and milk chocolate coconut roughs. Or perhaps we should go for gold and choose their gold gift box sizes so we can try a selection of different chocolates. Imagine this - a variety of mouth-watering flavours all in one beautifully packaged gold gift box.
We love complicated, delicious dilemmas like these. While we are still deciding which chocolate to go for, what about you? Which Davies Chocolates are calling your name?
Orders over $35 will be shipped free of charge anywhere in Australia!
Contact Davies Chocolates
a/ 181 Kingsgrove Rd Kingsgrove NSW, Australia
p/ +61 2 9502 2811
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