Bahen & Co - An interview with Josh Bahen

September 21, 2023

Bahen & Co. produce one of Australia's most traditional and ethical chocolate ranges. Sourcing their beans directly from farms in Madagascar, Papua New Guinea and Brazil, they ensure that the farmers are fairly compensated for their slow-fermented cacao.

We stole Josh Bahen, one half of Bahen & Co., away from his workshop to have a quick chat about what inspires he and his partner Jacqui.

We know small business is hard. Is there an inception story to your brand? What got you started or gave you the push to start your own enterprise?

I met an interesting gentleman whilst doing a grape harvest in France. He showed me inside his chocolate workshop, and I was intrigued by the cacao origin, smells and vintage machinery. This planted the seed.

Jacqui and I have both worked in the wine industry and chocolate to seemed to be the natural progression. Cacao is fermented much like wine. So many similarities…

I thought it was strange that by roasting and grinding a cacao bean that you could craft a product that reflects it origin in aroma and flavour.

We wanted to create something that was different. There is so much chocolate out there that has no connection back to the farm. Chocolate was a lot different previously and we wanted to try and bring back some of the goodness from the past.

Who or what do you draw inspiration from? 

Nature. Its both grounding & inspiring.

I also love to cook - so people like Ana Ros from Hiša Franko or Ben Ing from Alberta's. A focus on seasonality and produce is a must.

Other than yourself of course, who is your favourite artisan producer here in Australia? How come?

Chocolate - Zokoko

Wine - La Petit Mort - artisan wines by Bent Road. Very quirky wines made in an 8000 year old Georgian technique. Put the grapes into a huge, egg-shaped clay pot, bury it, walk away.

Coffee - Favourites would be Allpress & Dukes.

We know Australia is the best place on earth, but what makes it so special to you? What’s your favourite thing about Australia? 

Well…. spend a few days in our backyard in Margaret River and you can feel what we experience every day.  

It terms of weather, it’s a very seasonal place, beautiful summers and raw, wild winters. Honestly, I prefer the Winter! It's so quiet then and there are so many hidden gems to discover. Between beach, bush, and the food scene there is plenty to see and taste.  

Which of your products are your favourite to gift to others or share with friends around the table?

I would have to choose between the following two bar - Tanzania 75% cacao and the Honey Macadamia Organic Milk. 

We have just started working with cacao from a small farm in Tanzania - Kokoa Kamili. The chocolate from the cacao is really interesting if you prefer dark chocolate. Incredibly vibrant, it tastes of strawberry, red cherry, bread & butter. 

Or the honey macadamia milk bar is rather addictive…we use a local Jarrah honey that is truly unique to this part of the world. 


You can explore our full range of Bahen & Co.

Chocolate Bars here Panned Fruit & Nuts here

For more information about Josh, Jacqui and their latest creations head to