You could try looking on trade me for a santha or something similar, they come up occasonally for a couple of hundred dollars. I brought one of them through John Nanci at chocolate alchemy a few years ago but it did end up being quite…"
"Hi Danielle, We have a small bean to bar factory in Cromwell making single origin bars. Queenstown / Wanaka which are nearby are both well worth dropping into for their scenery alone.
Other Chocolatiers to add to your list are Van H in…"
Christchurch sounds pretty grim, I have a few relatives there and it sounded like a pretty frightening experience. I hope you have managed to get through the quake with little or no damage.
Are you looking to start a chocolate business? Want to talk to others who've been there or done that - or have you been there and done it and want to share with others? This is the place to discuss it.
I see you are from NZ and you are looking for cocoa beans. Try Whittakers brothers in Porirua. The source their cocoa beans from Ghana and actually I think they are the only larger size manufacturers in NZ to make their chocolate from cocoa beans. They are a larger company but if you can get through to them they most probably be able to help. Other wise try Brian from APS Chemicals in Auckland. They are Barry Callebaut reps for NZ and some while ago they could source cocoa nibs so maybe can help with cocoa beans as well.
I think you can still order 15kg of beans at a time from Tava even though they are not operational at the moment - they won't do anything else or any smaller quantities. Well at least they did for me about 4 months ago. Langdon and Samantha (Tava guys) use this site.
Yes you can get pure icing sugar here, CSR or Bundaburg do it in 500g bags for about $1 per bag. I use it for all of my choc making as it saves quite a bit of time.
I see you have discovered the tragedy that is the Australian/New Zealand chocolate situation. I don't know about NZ but in Australia if you look very carefully you can find Cluizel and Valrhona - if you want some top notch choc to compare with your own creations.
I got into choc making so I would have access to good chocolate.
Also if you are looking for beans in the Oz/NZ region try www.tava.com.au they sell Vanuatu beans that I mainly use. They are extremelly chocolatey, I use them to make a dark milk choc and it is my best bar - according to the family and friends circle.