Sjaak’s Organic Chocolates are a gift from Holland. This now California-based family-owned company originated in the gorgeous European country and evolved into what is now a smorgasbord of vegan chocolates.
Jacques, the owner and creator of Sjaak’s Chocolates was born in the Netherlands and began his culinary training at the age of 12, honing his cooking and confection skills throughout his life. While traveling in Europe, Jacques met his wife from California and traveled back to the States to begin a new chapter and to open his own business.
Sjaak’s Chocolates, initally known as “Jacques Organic Chocolates,” began as a small downtown chocolate boutique in the eighties. The boutique expanded and morphed 13 years ago and slowly continued to evolve. As of six years ago, they became completely vegan.
The Vegan Product
All of Sjaak’s Chocolate’s use organic, non-GMO ingredients. Their vegan “Melk” chocolate is completely dairy-free, creamy and delectable! The sugar is also free of bone char.
There is so much to choose from I couldn’t make up my mind so I ordered Hearts of Cherry, Extra Dark Bites, Caramel Melk Chocolate Bites, Individual Nog Bites, Orange Bites and Raspberry Bites as well as the Dark Chocolate Truffle Assortment. When I received the package, I was so excited to open it and sample each and every one! As a gift, I received a Santa Claus stuffed with gummy bears — I saved this for last.
I tried one of the Hearts of Cherry first and it was perfect: creamy in the middle with a hint of cherry taste. The next one I popped into my mouth was the Extra Dark Bite and it was what you would expect; a touch bitter, with a hint of sweetness.
I was curious about this vegan “Melk,” so I moved along to the Caramel Melk Chocolate Bites. You would never know that they’re not real caramel milk chocolate bites. They were the definition of caramel goodness! The Individual Nog Bites were downright dreamy. They seemed like they would be a bit too rich and heavy if you ate too many, but then again I wished I had ordered more! The Orange and Raspberry bites were again, flawless. Once I bit into them, a burst of orange and raspberry flavor hit my tongue. Oh, so delicious!
The Dark Truffle Assortment was a variety of dark creamy nut and fruit truffles and not one disappointed! Last but not least, I finally got to taste the Gummy Bear stuffed Santa Claus. Oh my. Can you imagine what “Melk” Chocolate filled with vegan gummy bears taste like? Can I just tell you how hard it is to FIND vegan gummy bears? They were amazing! They were chewy and sugar encrusted, not like the traditional harder gummy bears if that is what you are used to. Each one of the vegan chocolates were melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
Eli’s Earth Bars are named after Jacques grandson, again cementing the family owned spirit of Sjaak’s Chocolates. The sale of every organic, Fair trade bar will give 5 percent to a non-profit charitable organization that benefits children. Sjaak’s feels that, “childhood should embrace joy, delight and peace. Every child should be entitled to these simple inherent rights. So let us Celebrate™ life, Treasure™ children and always Dream Big™.”
Visit Sjaak’s website and taste these delicious, vegan chocolates for yourself!