Shaper: Spencer Hyman

Show aired on 5th November 2016


Spencer Hayman

Cocoa Runners, founded by Spencer Hyman and Simon Palethorpe in 2013, is the purveyor of some of the finest chocolate in the world, scouting out top-notch producers from around the globe, and bringing its customers an edit of the very best election. Spencer had his first taste of real chocolate when he  was introduced to Valhrona – the must-have chocolate of top chefs – in the 90s. Then later in 2012 whilst travelling in the States, Spencer and Simon were overwhelmed to discover a burgeoning chocolate revolution: a wave of new, artisan chocolate makers had arrived. Spencer and Simon began to widen  their search, in the hope of finding other special chocolate makers in the world. In their search for the finest chocolate, they have sampled well over 5,000 different bars from Brooklyn to Budapest and San Francisco to Saigon, and continue to seek out new and exciting makers all the time. Cocoa Runners now works with artisan chocolate creators from around the world, such as Marou in Vietnam, Omnom in Iceland, Fruition in the USA and Menakao in Madagascar along with several more. They deliver the very best chocolate to your doorstep – as a gift, or as part of their chocolate subscription service.

Listen live at 9am Saturday.

Follow Spencer on Twitter @sdhyman.

“We actually spend more on chocolate in the UK than we do on books and music combined, almost times two.”

“Most chocolate is actually just cocoa solids combined a bit with vegetable fat, palm oils and all sorts of other things like whey powder. A bit like a chicken nugget if you like.”

“I ended up going to Japan…doing things like overseeing the team that translated Monopoly into Japanese.”

“I think probably the most important thing is to work with people who you respect and learn to fail super fast.”

“Everybody sort of jokes and thinks ‘oh if I eat chocolate it is going to be really bad for me’ but actually if you have this sort of chocolate it is actually really good for you.”

“If you can’t get customers, hold on to them, acquire them easily then the business is really going to struggle.”

“There was definitely a point in Thailand when I was making cabbage patch dolls that I just knew that…it was not what I wanted to be doing anymore.”

“I mean I failed in just about everything I have ever done.”

“If you want to make great cacao, great chocolate, you need to understand the farmer.”