FAQs

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Environment

How "green" is your packaging?
Within the food industry, packaging that comes into contact with food has to be of food grade. This therefore means that we cannot always use recycled materials, but we always try to use as much as we can.

Wherever we can we use packaging that can be recycled so virtually all the paper packaging we use is FSC certified. For more information on the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) please visit www.fsc-uk.org.

To minimise our carbon footprint we use components and ingredients from UK based suppliers wherever we can and we are working towards becoming a carbon neutral organisation very soon.

Nutrition and Dietary Information

Are your products organic?
Yes, some of our products are organic. We are certified by the Soil Association, the UKís leading organic certification body, and we produce several organic chocolate products. For more information please visit www.soilassociation.org

Are your products suitable for vegetarians?
Nearly all of our products are suitable for vegetarians. The exceptions include products such as our rose & violet connoisseur collection (contains cochineal colouring) and our mini marshmallows stir in hot chocolate (contains pork gelatine). All ingredients derived from animals are listed on the ingredients list on our packaging.

Are your products suitable for vegans?
None of our plain dark chocolate contains ingredients derived from animals. However, our dark chocolate is made on the same production lines as our milk chocolate and therefore there is a risk of cross contamination. For this reason we are unable to claim that any of our products are vegan.

Are your products nut free?
All our products are made in a factory which handles nut ingredients and therefore we cannot guarantee that any of our products are totally nut free.

Do your products contain peanuts?
Neither peanuts nor ingredients containing peanuts are handled in our factory. Although the contamination risk is extremely low, we are however unable to guarantee our products are peanut free as some ingredients may be manufactured on a site that handles peanuts.

Are your products GM free?
We ensure that all our products are GM free.

Do your products contain alcohol?
Some of our chocolate contains alcohol such as our champagne truffles which include Marc de Champagne. If a product does contain alcohol we always make this clear on the packaging. For example the ingredients will either list alcohol or state the name of the alcohol e.g. Marc de Champagne.

Are your chocolates suitable for people with diabetes?
Experts say that if eaten in moderation and as part of a healthy balanced diet chocolate will not have an adverse effect on long term diabetes control. It is important to remember though that chocolate is high in fat, calories and sugar and therefore should be eaten in small and sensible amounts by people with diabetes. We advise anyone with diabetes to consult their doctor or registered dietician for advice on chocolate or to visit www.diabetes.org.uk for further information.

Are your products suitable for coeliacs?
Many of our products are made to a gluten free recipe however they are manufactured in a factory that handles ingredients containing gluten, therefore cross contamination is possible. For this reason we are unable to guarantee that our products are gluten free, however products such as our chunky chocolates, mint and caramel collections, and rose & violet, stem ginger, mint and caramel connoisseur collections are made to a gluten free recipe.

Are your products suitable for people with a soya allergy?
The majority of our chocolates contain traces of soya lecithin which is an important natural emulsifier in chocolate that keeps it smooth and prevents the ingredients from separating. The remainder may contain traces because of cross contamination.

Ethical Sourcing

Does House of Dorchester have an ethical policy?
Yes, it is that 'We make sure that everybody involved in producing our products is treated fairly, we are committed to sustainability and we passionately believe in doing the right thing to look after the environment'. House of Dorchester works with Barry Callebaut, the world's' leading manufacturer of high quality cocoa and chocolate products, to source its cocoa beans. A detailed statement in relation to Barry Callebaut's position on worker welfare is available by visiting our press page www.hodchoc.com/press.

Are your products Fairtrade?
Some of our products are certified by the Fairtrade Foundation. For more information about the Fairtrade Foundation please visit www.fairtrade.org.uk

Other

You say you are the home of great British chocolates. Where is your production exactly?
We have been making chocolates in Dorchester, in the heart of Dorset, since 1963. We are proud to be making great chocolates for you every day right here in Britain, supporting British industry and British jobs.

I heard that your chocolates are all handmade. Is this true?
Yes, most of our chocolates are hand finished by our chocolatiers in Dorchester.

Where can I buy your products?
You can buy our products from our online shop. Please click here to be taken to our shop.

We are also very proud to be stocked in a wide range of fine food stores, delicatessens, independent retailers, farm shops and garden centres. You can also find us on the High Street in shops such as John Lewis, Waitrose and Booths. Please click here to find a stockist near you.

How should I store your chocolate?
We recommend that you keep chocolate in a cool, dark place and in temperatures from 16°C to 20° Celsius. Chocolate should also be stored away from anything with a strong odour as it will absorb other flavours due to its high fat content.

How should I store your Chocolate Larder biscuits and Indulgence bars?
We recommend that you store Chocolate Larder biscuits and Indulgence bars in a cool, dry place, out of light and away from strong odours.

Can I freeze chocolate?
We don't recommend you keep chocolate in a freezer as moisture causes the chocolate to become damp when it warms up which then causes "chocolate bloom".

Can I keep my chocolate in the fridge?
Many people like to keep their chocolate in a fridge. If they do then we advise them to store it in a Tupperware type box or in a sealed plastic bag to make sure it does not become tainted by anything else in the fridge. Please see the next question for an explanation on chocolate "blooming".

What is chocolate "blooming"?
"Blooming" chocolate is a technical term for what happens to chocolate that has suffered extreme hot or cold temperatures. It can either be "fat bloom" which is a condition that occurs in hot temperatures when cocoa butter separates from the cocoa solids and rises to the surface giving the chocolate a white coating as it recrystallises or "sugar bloom", which normally occurs in cold temperatures when moisture on the sugar ingredients causes the sugar to rise and produces a grainy texture.

How long can I keep my chocolate before it goes off?
All of our products have a "best before" date printed on the packaging they are in and we recommend that they are consumed before this date. As a general rule, providing the storage instructions have been adhered to, the majority of our boxed chocolates will have a "best before" date nine months after we produce them and our solid chocolate has a "best before" date between nine and twelve months after we produce them.

What should I do if I have a question about the product Iíve bought?
We hope that you will be able to find the answer you are looking for on this website however if you canít find what you are looking for please call our team on +44 (0)1420 84181 or send us an email.

We are very proud of our products and we take product quality very seriously. If you are not completely happy, we want to hear from you so that we can do something about it. Simply call our team on +44 (0)1420 84181 or send us an email.