Doisy & Dam – London’s Superfood Willy Wonkas
16 July, 2015
If ever there is an excuse to eat an entire bar of chocolate meant for sharing, it's with the birth of Doisy & Dam, the London chocolate company that is about to change the way you see your favourite sweet treat forever. Dreamt up by childhood best friends Ed Smith and Richard Wilkinson, Doisy & Dam fuses indulgence with a hit of superfood goodness. The two came up with the idea to infuse chocolate with precious, nutritious ingredients after leaving their corporate jobs in the City of London. A twosome that quit their jobs to become superfood Willy Wonkas? We were hooked straight away. "We just wanted to run our own thing together, whatever that was. We discussed every business idea you can think of. Some were absolutely ridiculous," Ed explains. "We both came to a point in our careers where we could either carry on and get really serious, or break out together."
Given, superfood is a bit of a grey area nowadays. So when we spent the afternoon with Ed and Richard, we put the question of what defines a 'superfood' to them. "I think it's a marketing word, really," Richard tells us. "It's gotten a bit out of control and I don't think people really know what it means any more. That's why we just try and look at foods that have extremely high nutritional value, rather than something that is just labeled a superfood. We want the ingredients to actually make a difference to the product."
So why go down the healthy chocolate route we ask, as we begin the backbreaking task of sampling their new range. "We wanted to work with something tangible. It was always going to be a product that we could create and touch and hold," Richard says. "We've always been obsessed with food. We both knew that if we weren't interested in the product we were selling then it would never work."
Their flavours are robust, each one packing a punch of rich chocolate and interesting ingredients
Doisy & Dam bars are spreading quickly. They can now be found in Whole Foods, Planet Organic and Ocado. Coconut & lucuma, mulberries, chia seeds & spirulina, and goji & orange are just some of their blends. Against all the odds, these bars actually do taste amazing. (If you've ever tried spirulina, you'll understand what we mean.) Their bars never have more than eight ingredients and have a 70 per cent cocoa content which, as Richard explains, means there is "a lot less room for sugar and fat."
If you've sampled a Doisy & Dam bar already, you'll know that their flavours are robust, each one packing a punch of rich chocolate and interesting ingredients. "What we try and do is take a superfood, a texture and a flavour. That is our formula, if you like." They tell us, as we try out their brand new line of nutrient-rich milk chocolate bars, which will be released in September. All this was top secret, of course, but you can look forward to a healthy take on salted caramel chocolate…
The non-couple twosome aren't stopping at chocolate bars, though. They plan on releasing a range of healthy/indulgent snacks and drinks including cold and hot brew cacao. "Any indulgent food you can think of, we want to turn into a healthy snack, basically," Richard explains. "I think a huge movement is happening in the food world. People are making pre-existing products better for you. It isn't going away and doesn't feel like a fad."
Design-wise Richard and Ed stand out from other chocolate brands for their unbridled use of pastels. Each packet of Doisy & Dam chocolate is inspired by Godfrey Street in Chelsea, where the houses are washed in dreamy crayon colours. "I think people are sometimes surprised that we're men!" they say, as we take a jaunt down the famous street. "People often think we're a couple. We've had a few articles refer to us as 'Edward and Richard Smith' too."
Through our six-to-seven-bar haze, we asked the boys whether it ever gets a bit much, this chocolate game. Richard laughs, "There are some times when we've been up at the factory packing bars, and I dream that I'm doing that over and over again. It's the most torturous nightmare. I wake up and have to force myself to think about something other than chocolate." With similar distress in his voice, Ed says, "You know when you play Tetris and you do it too much, and then when you sleep it's just going round and round in your head? That's what I get with the chocolate."
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