At a time when we have perhaps been recently indulging in an extraordinary amount of chocolate, I thought it appropriate to highlight a local chocolate company. 

Until I met Ella McKay (aka Fatso Numero Uno) from Fatso chocolate, I didn’t realise that 97 per cent of UK households buy a bar of chocolate every week. Yep, that’s a hell of a lot of chocolate.

You may have noticed this new brand, one that’s gaining distribution, and disrupting the UK chocolate scene,  celebrates dark chocolate.  Fatso is fun, a strikingly named and packaged range that’s constantly looking at different formats and ways to celebrate dark chocolate.  “After all,” says Ella, “milk chocolate seems to have all the fun!”

Why Fatso?

The name is taken from a Spanish term of endearment – gordo – meaning fat. 

But don’t worry, it’s so named as it is a fat bar of chocolate, not insulting you for buying it! 

The company is called Fatso and based in Richmond.  Ella lives in Twickenham, so this really is a local business. She’s a co-creator of Fatso and self-proclaimed foodie, with classic marketing training at some of the world’s biggest brands. 

How Fatso Started

Fatso was launched in 2022,  just as we were coming out of lockdown, and Ella’s sterling marketing career with her preferred small, disruptor brands, stood her in perfect stead for her new vocation. 

Extensive research indicated to her that chocolate can be a very corrupt industry, and she was determined only to source ethically. 

Research led her to Luker in Columbia, now the sole supplier of chocolate to Fatso.  Luker is a family owned business and a co-operative. 

Thoroughly ethical, it works closely with a network of farmers, alliances and communities to improve social welfare, biodiversity and farming practices. 

The chocolate is melted down in the Midlands, where flavours are added, and the team puts the fun into dark chocolate.

The germ of the idea for Fatso had started with a conversation between Ella and co-founders (and friends) about the dull dark chocolate market . 

“With a reputation for being bitter, serious, pretentious, ‘the healthy option,’ and seldom the choice for an ultimate treat, dark chocolate was fast becoming obsolete among fun-loving, life living chocoholics.” says McKay. “In a world of seriousness and restraint, we asked, why should any chocolate; white, milk, dark or pink, be anything other than delicious and indulgent?”

Three Products to Start

The first three products were launched simultaneously:

  • Morn’n Glory (breakfast inspired, with crunchy cornflakes and a side of toast and marmalade – yes, and it really works);
  • Home Run (salted pretzel, almonds and honeycomb, inspired by their US friends)
  • Nan’s Stash (with peanuts, chewy toffee and digestive biscuit).  The first two are 60 percent cacao and Nan’s Stash is 70 percent.  

Coronation Special to Follow

Last year, in perfect time for the Coronation celebrations, they launched King’s Ransom, a truly majestic bar with pistachios; crunchy cocoa nibs and a hint of mint packed into a 60 percent cacao bar. 

Fatso has certainly shaken up the retail chocolate sector and, in just 18 months, is stocked by over 300 retailers, including top stores like Harvey Nichols and Liberty, as well as independents and gift shops. 

You’ll also often find Fatso mini bars in smart hotels like The Standard and The Lanesborough.