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Sweet Buzz of Bumble Bean

Easter’s coming in hot. If you’re on the hunt for the perfect gift – or a sweet treat for yourself because, you know, Easter! – look no further than Bumble Bean Chocolates. With eggs, truffles and chocolate boxes galore, there’s something for the sweet tooth in your life.

By Tierney Seccull

THIS LITTLE SHOP of treats in Stuart Park is the creation of born and raised Darwinite, and head chocolatier, Leo Cleanthous, born from a passion of the craft and a desire to prove something to the naysayers.

“I started making chocolates as a hobby, I’m an accountant by trade and still work as an accountant, but this is just my project I did on the side … The more people told me, ‘you can’t do chocolate in Darwin’, the more I wanted to prove them wrong,” he says.

And boy, are we glad he stuck to his guns. Over the last five years, Bumble Bean Chocolates has churned out chocolate in their Darwin shopfront, using world renowned Belgian Callebaut chocolate to bring a touch of luxury to Top End tastebuds.

“I had a little factory set up upstairs in the same building [as the shop], which is now the kitchen for Klimataria Greek Restaurant. I was making chocolate just for fun, mainly, and friends would buy it … It was around 2018, I’d say, that we moved into the shop here today.”

A shop you can grab a coffee in too, by the way. Chocolate and coffee? Dream combo.

True to his ethos of buying local produce when possible, Cleanthous loves to experiment with local flavours.

“I bought some chillies to dry for chilli chocolate … We use rosella, Kakadu plum and dragon fruit, and I’ve made cumquat chocolates with fruit from my daughter’s cumquat tree. Whatever local ingredients I can get that I think will work, we’ll try to use.”

Not only does Bumble Bean chocky taste local, it even looks local.

“I ended up commissioning chocolate moulds that are more Territory-based, so we’ve got the crocs, frogs and barramundi bars … If somebody comes up on holiday from down south, they can take something back that’s Territory, and locals travelling down south often take something from here,” he says.

For Cleanthous, he’s proud to showcase the town he’s always called home.

“Darwin’s a good place. It’s provided for myself and my family … There’s a lot of opportunity here for young people, and you can pretty much do anything if you just try, you know?”

The friendly team also offers regular workshops and free tastings, allowing you to a sweet sample before you make the difficult decision on which chocs to choose. This Easter, skip the supermarket for this local biz, and experience the sweet buzz of Bumble Bean Chocolates.


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