Malcolm Ryan of Rhuby Delights is passionate about the important things in life – family, farming and quality chocolate.
A fifth generation Tasmanian, Malcolm grew up in the north west on a farm near Yolla, learning about organic farming principles from his mum who was the president of the North West Organic Society. “Organic farming is in my DNA – it’s in my blood to want to produce something that is good quality and good for you.”
Malcolm has come to be known as the eccentric chocolatier, creating Rhuby Delights, a unique range of chocolates with a crunchy fruit centre that creates a pop of fresh, bright flavour. The story of how a whole range of freeze dried fresh produce covered in premium dark chocolate was created, started when Malcolm set out on a mission to make rhubarb popular again.
To begin, Malcolm had collected fourteen different varieties of rhubarb from near and far and all were growing on his property at Elliott. After whittling the collection down to the best four varieties, he then moved to Don, just out of Devonport, taking the rhubarb with him and replanting it at a friend’s property. What happened next was wonderful – the change in the altitude and soil profile altered the rhubarb’s qualities completely; it grew abundantly and gloriously and soon Malcolm needed to figure out what do with such an incredible yield.
In a ‘Eureka’ moment Malcolm thought he’d try coating the beautiful tart rhubarb in smooth premium chocolate and that was it! A new world first creation that tasted incredible and completely different from anything that was available at the time. Fast forward a few years and he is also sourcing raspberries, blackberries and apricots (to name a few), all from Tasmanian farms that use low chemical input to produce the highest quality and healthiest produce. The various fruits and vegetables are then pureed respectively and rolled into balls by Malcolm’s own patented invention and freeze dried locally. At this point the little balls of freeze-dried fruit, that still contain all the natural flavour, colour and nutrients of fresh fruit, are coated in rich smooth dark chocolate, ready to be devoured.
Malcolm has been working hard to introduce his ‘delightfully different’ creations to people all across Tasmania. Whilst driving here, there and everywhere across this island state, he thrives on meeting new people, holding tastings and really getting to know the locals and visitors alike.
All this hard work is paying off with Rhuby Delights gaining quite a following around Tasmania. Even though the demand has grown, each chocolate is still made by hand, with love. To help meet demand, Malcolm, a proud father to three adult sons, now has a small team of staff and runs a six-month supported program for youth with backgrounds of hardship. It is the incredible change and improvement in a young person’s life and the ability to give back to the local community that gives Malcolm the greatest joy, as well as the ability to share resources and knowledge. “It is the Tasmanian mentality to help one another; many people have helped me, and I love to help others.”
You’ll find a variety of these 100% hand-made vegan-friendly, nut free and gluten free Rhuby Delights and Rhuby Creations in all our Salamanca Fresh stores. Malcolm recently launched a range of new flavours, such as Tasmanian Pepperberry and Apricots so be sure to keep your eyes peeled. We recommend trying every single flavour!