I can't think of a better gift than Kind Chocolate.

The concept behind it is what the Christmas Spirit is all about - giving.

La Petite Artisan Chocolat is a Fairtrade and organic chocolat artelier based in Hastings, created by chocolatier Anissa Talbi Dobson.

"Coming up to Christmas we wanted to do something for the benefit of children," Anissa said.


"I asked around and KidsCan was mentioned to me several times so we decided that all the profits from the Kind Chocolate Series would go to KidsCan. It is a wonderful charity providing for the nutritional, clothing and health needs of children living in poverty."

Donating their profit is not new to Anissa and her husband Joseph. They also donate to Women's Refuge and Forest and Bird.

La Petite only uses the best sustainable ingredients and is very conscious of limiting waste so all their packaging is recyclable, reusable or compostable.

"All our chocolate is made from couverture we import from a family business called Kaoka, who have been pioneers in organic and sustainable goods since the early 1990s. They have been working tightly with the co-operatives of cacao farmers who grow the beans that make our chocolates exceptional. Everything is certified Fairtrade, organic, gluten, palm oil and soy free."

La Petite started in 2012 sharing a kitchen at Rod McDonald's Winery in Te-Awanga.

"We just out grew it and it was time to move. We found this shop and fitted it all out ourselves with the help of our genius friend Isaac McCormick who custom made some of our equipment. The display cabinet for our chocolate for instance, was once a jewellery cabinet from a couple of blocks down from us. We bought it for $50 and refitted it."

Anissa says in the four years they have been opened she has seen a tremendous change in the area around them.

"It has got busier and more varied. There's a pasta restaurant going in a couple of doors down from us. "We love it here. It has a nice community feel to it and we do a lot of things together. It's so cool," she says.


Since moving to their shop they have employed three people and are Accredited Living Wage Employers.

Originally from the South of France, Anissa was on a Working Holiday Visa travelling around New Zealand in 2010.

She met Joseph in Auckland, whose family started Arataki Honey.

"My visa was about to expire so after a year of travelling I returned home and because I had always loved chocolate and the many things you can do with it I decided to become a chocolatier.

"The creative expressions through chocolate are really fascinating, you can say so many different things.

"A month later Joseph joined me in France and eight months later we were married."
The name La Petite is an affectionate way of calling someone "kiddo", a very common thing in South of France where Anissa grew up - it also refers to how petite Anissa is.


La Petite's products, which are all made in their shop/kitchen in Hastings, are sent to many stockists over the country including the exclusive Huka Lodge.

Inside the Kind Chocolate Series for season one is three large blocks of beautifully crafted chocolate (Gingerbread spiced dark chocolate, Citrus galore dark chocolate, Fruits and Nuts Christmas dark chocolate and a box of 10 chocolate bonbons (salted caramel and strawberry).

You can choose between Season 1 only or get the whole series (four seasons). You'll have to be in quick as shipping date is December 9.

They have some beautiful holiday flavours available at the moment including Toasted Coconut, Gingerbread Spice (this is absolutely delicious), Cocktail Bonbons, chocolate trees, etc.

They also have a range of offers for weddings and functions: customised chocolate, chocolate flavours, loose bonbons and slabs to break and share, etc.

Pop into the shop - the smell when you step inside is just divine, and have a look for yourself or you can go online lapetitechocolat.co.nz


- La Petite Artisan Chocolat, 207 Heretaunga St East, Hasting is open Monday to Friday from 10am until 4pm and Saturday from 10am to 3pm. They are also at the Farmers Market every Sunday and will be at the summer Black Barn Market.