Friday, 1 April 2011

Moo Free! It's what Jesus would have wanted...

dairy free milk chocolate bar
Photo courtesy of  Subject to copyright.

There are moments on this allergy journey of ours when the storm clouds break.  And rather like Paul on the road to Damascus (stay with me) we see a blinding light from above.  And then the clouds are rent asunder –parting company with the Bible now - and little magical drops of dairy free chocolate scatter down from the heavens.  Angels swoop hither and thither and a voice from on high declaims “go forth and eat this delicious-tasting chocolate until verily you are sick.”  What a result!  A mandate from heaven to indulge. 

I’m talking about Moo Free chocolate of course.  Eating Moo Free is one of those moments – like in an advert – where you say “No, really? This doesn’t have milk in?”  And no, it really doesn’t.  And it’s also free from eggs, gluten or wheat.

Andrea Jessops and her husband started experimenting with dairy-free chocolate 3 years ago, selling it on their site  The response from vegans and food allergy sufferers was positive, so Andrea wanted to get a dairy free range made.  Unable to find anyone who made dairy-free chocolate, she decided to have a go herself.

“I didn’t have a clue how to make chocolates” says Andrea, “I bought one of those tiny tempering machines, bought some Easter egg moulds and put the chocolates on our website.”  The result? “They sold as quickly as I could make them and after Easter they wanted advent calendars!”

In June 2010 the Moo Free brand was born.  Andrea no longer tinkers with a tiny tempering machine, delegating instead to her 10-strong workforce who make the chocolate in a purpose-built clean room in Reading, UK.  And still they are selling their wares as fast as they can make them, with interest from Harrods and Waitrose in the UK and online outlets for Europe and the USA.  

Nut allergy sufferers should note that the chocolate is not guaranteed to be nut free as Moo Free does make chocolates containing nuts.  It carries the usual ‘May contain nut traces’ reminder.  

Keeping up with the demand for dairy free chocolate means working a six day week for Andrea and her husband, but it’s starting to pay off.  Moo Free chocolate has been shortlisted for three ‘Free From Awards’ and Andrea readily admits that the chocolate is “flying off the shelves.”

“It’s hard work but it’s rewarding” says Andrea, “especially when I get emails saying a child has had an Easter egg for the first time because of our products.”

Well Amen to that!  So if you are scrabbling for a dairy free Easter egg, look no further than:

It’s what Jesus would have wanted...

dairy free milk chocolate easter egg
Photo courtesy of  Subject to copyright.

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