About us / Our Story

These inspired confections created by Calen Thomas will please the most discerning of palates and satisfy the sweetest of sweet teeth. Calen, who was born and raised in Alaska, recently relocated to Ficksburg, which is known far and wide as the Cherry Capital of the World and set in the picturesque Eastern Free State. But this rugged, easygoing American, who looks as if he'd be perfectly at home riding the range, or exploring the wilderness, is no stranger to the delicate art of sweet-making and, he told us, it was always he who made his family's candies for the holidays.

Chocolate-making soon became his a passion, a craft he first learned under the tutelage of his mother, Callie Thomas, and a good friend, June Burson. Calen refined his craft by learning from the best of the best — training with Belgian chocolatiers based in Alaska and then with the Lindt chocolatiers in South Africa. He recently opened a shop in Clarens, the booming tourist mecca of the Eastern Free State, and, so popular have his delectable wares proved, that he plans to open a second outlet in Parys in the near future. All Mckinley Chocolates are handcrafted, using only the best Swiss and Belgian chocolate to create delicacies which are every bit as delightful to look at as they are to taste. To ensure that you get only the best quality, all their chocolates are tempered.

Chocolate is one of the most popular and recognizable flavours in the world and comes in dark, milk, and white varieties, with cocoa solids causing the brown colour.
The Theobroma cacao tree has been cultivated in Mexico, Central and South America for thousands of years and it is known that the Aztecs used it in many dishes. Even today, Mexicans don't use chocolate only as an ingredient for confectionary, still incorporating it into many of their daily meals. After it was discovered by the Europeans, chocolate was sweetened and fattened by adding sugar and milk, two ingredients unknown to the Mexicans.

One of Calen'sspecialitiesare his handmade truffles, made with either dark or white chocolate. True chocolate connoisseurs adore dark chocolate and the taste of his rich dark chocolate can only be described as "explosive" — a taste which is truly to die for. And the taste combinations at Mckinley chocolates are audacious, to say the least.
What about trying their Southof- the-Border chilli in a chocolate ganache? Another lipsmacking creation is the delectable Amarula in a buttercream filling. If you're not quite that daring, however, there are sumptuouschoccies filled with nuts, cherries, ginger, etc to titillate the taste-buds There is an array of hand-filled dark, milk or white chocolates on offer at Mckinley Chocolates, as well as a range of mouth-watering ganache and pralines.

White chocolate truffles come in a variety of incredible flavours — one of my favourites is a white chocolate ganache with a splash of Sauvignon Blanc and a touch of lemon rind. In addition, there is a range of nougats filled with macadamia nuts, pistachios and glazed cherries.

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  • SARCDA AUGUST 2013 Mckinley Stand Mckinley Stand
  • GANACHE GANACHE Chocolate mixed with cream and then en-robed in a dark 60% curvature chocolate.
  • TRUFFLES TRUFFLES Truffles are filled with ganache or coconut fillings
  • TURKISH NOUGAT CAKE TURKISH NOUGAT CAKE Turkish styled nougat is made in a cake form and cut into 10 slices.
  • NOUGAT NOUGAT Nougat Squares & Chocolate Coated.
  • CLUSTERS CLUSTERS Clusters are made from unsalted nuts
  • CHOCOLATE BON BONS CHOCOLATE BON BONS Made from 60% dark curvature chocolate
  • CHOCOLATE BARS CHOCOLATE BARS Made from 60% dark curvature chocolate
  • Turkish delight Turkish delight Turkish delight Square Rose and Chocolate coated Turkish delight
  • Hot Choco Sticks Hot Choco Sticks Hot Chocolates Marshmallow Sticks Sold in 12s
  • Pillow Drops Pillow Drops Personalised Pillow Drops. Sold in 48s minimum
  • Marshmallows Marshmallows Chocolate Coated Marshmallows. Sold in 12s
  • Marshmallow Hives Marshmallow Hives



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