The Value of Handcrafted Chocolates
Why are my chocolates worth the price I charge for them? Are they really that much better than a box of finest chocolates from M&S? What exactly are you getting for your money?
This has been on my mind for a while so after receiving a throw away comment from someone who’d never even tasted my chocolates, I decided to write this blog.
Where do I start? Firstly, I’m a qualified Chocolate Engineer (ex Cadbury). What does that mean? It means I have a degree in chemical engineering so understand the scientific principles behind making chocolate. Engineers are people who generally use science and maths to problem solve, so you can think of a "chocolate engineer" as someone who works on creating innovations in chocolate by solving scientific problems. And that’s exactly what I do. For instance, I love lemon meringue pie, but if I want to put it into one of my chocolates my problem is 'how?’ This is where my engineering brain (and a fair amount of bloody-mindedness) kicks in, calculates and solves the problem.
Okay, that’s the Engineer bit out of the way, so what’s a Chocolatier? A Chocolatier is someone who artistically creates chocolates and truffles from pre-made chocolate, but I’ll explain more about that in a future blog.
Once I have my chocolate of choice, I set about creating a recipe and design then test-driving each combination of flavours and textures before deciding which ones make the grade. If my chosen chocolate requires salted caramel, I make some. If it needs a raspberry gel, a gin and tonic ganache or a Madagascan vanilla marshmallow, I make those too. Are you getting the gist?
On top of all that, I work in an ethical and eco-friendly way using only the finest Fairtrade (and where possible, locally-sourced) ingredients and high-quality biodegradable packaging. It would go against my business ethos and personal ethics and beliefs to work any other way.
Apart from being ethical, Fairtrade and handcrafted, my chocolates taste like nothing you’ve ever tasted before. The unique combination of flavours and textures is second to none. Combined with incredible attention to detail, my chocolates are most definitely high-end products. I think it’s easy to forget that sometimes because I’m based out in the sticks and not in London or Paris.
Oh, and 8 of my chocolates are award winners; picking up Great Taste, Academy of Chocolate and Taste of the West awards in my first year of trading against some stiff opposition from more established names.
So, back to my original questions: Why are my chocolates worth the price I charge for them? Are they really that much better than a box of finest chocolates from M&S? What exactly are you getting for your money?
Hopefully, you now understand the value of my chocolates and realise the amount of love, quality ingredients, hard work and hard-earned experience that goes into each and every one.
Now you understand what they are, here’s what they’re not:
Factory made (yes, M&S)
Mass-produced on a production line
Full of cheap, unethical ingredients
Off the peg flavours
Full of sugar
Wrapped in plastic
Choosing to buy my chocolates means you’re not only choosing to support an independent craftsperson, but also to buying high quality products with a conscience.
And it goes without saying that they taste amazing too!