Festival of Chocolate

Destiny Haven - chocolate for a cause

By Kathrine Holland July 15, 2017
Destiny Haven

The smooth Festival of Chocolate in the Rocks and proud to bring Destiny Haven to The Chocolatiers' Quarters - a truly inspiring organisation healing through chocolate. We sat down with CEO of Destiny Haven Janine Epere to find out more about why you should support them when you visit the festival.

Set on a picturesque 42 acre property nestled in the peaceful Hunter Valley in NSW, Destiny Haven is a residential place of healing for women whose lives have been shattered by life controlling illnesses such as drug and alcohol addiction, eating disorders and, self-harm. Destiny provides the professional, physical and emotional nurturing needed to restore the health and capacity of women. Destiny’s goal is to equip vulnerable women with the tools and support they need to lead productive and fulfilling lifestyles.

Destiny Haven operates two social enterprises to generate income to fund service delivery and, as importantly, provide employability skills training opportunities for our women. One of the social enterprises, The Diamond Collection, involves the boutique manufacturing of handmade Belgian chocolates, our signature product range. The other is a tourism accommodation business, Valley View Luxury Retreat.


Why chocolate? 

A close family member is in the chocolate industry and has supported our charity actively since its inception. We always wanted Destiny Haven to be more than a rehabilitation program. We wanted to be able to have a program that taught women life skills and trained them to be employable. A supporter built us a commercial chocolate kitchen and Callebaut and Savour Chocolate and Patisserie School have supported us with chocolate and training that has seen our social enterprise expand to be a major contributor to financially supporting our organisation. Being able to have our women professionally trained by the best ensures that they are able to train the women coming behind them to strive for excellence.


What are your hopes for Destiny to achieve? 

Firstly, our greatest dream is to see women’s lives changed. Even though our organisation is small (we offer twelve women at a time the chance to turn their lives around) we have seen so many women dream big, crazy dreams as their issues are dealt with. Secondly, our dream is to expand our Diamond Collection range and build a chocolateria on our property so that we can eventually offer women employment and ongoing training in the industry.


Your personal favourite chocolate that you make at Destiny? 

Oh I love anything caramel! Callebaut has the most gorgeous caramel chocolate and we use it to make a number of different chocolates from a chewy caramel pecan to a liquid salted caramel with a butterscotch schnapps twist. 


Aside from the festival how can people get involved?

There are so many ways people can support our worthy charitable residential program. We are always looking for volunteers to become part of our team. We always value quality clothing and furniture as many of our women have very little when they arrive at our residential program. People can continue to purchase our quality products that include handcrafted chocolates, gourmet preserves and relishes and beautiful handmade jewellery pieces using dichroic glass, swarovski crystals and sterling silver.


You can find Destiny Haven inside the Baci Chocolatiers' Quarters, located in the Cargo Hall at the smooth Festival of Chocolate in The Rocks

Sat 12 & Sun 13 Aug

From 10am - 6pm daily