chocoMe Magazin 2ND ISSUE OCTOBER 2013
Flavours Divided Introducing chocoMe RaffinĂŠe
chocoMe Awarded at the Great Taste Awards chocoMe: Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise of August Pistachio from Bronte, the Green Gold of Sicily Hello Russia! A Sweet Citadel in the Gourmet Quarter From Andalusia to all over the Iberian Peninsula
Flavours Divided - Introducing chocoMe Raffinée Most of chocoMe’s chocolate creations are topped with lyophilized (freeze-dried) fruits. No wonder: these specially prepared fruits contain no moist, still the characteristic flavours remain intact, along with important vitamins and minerals. We had an idea of a new product, where these natural fruit flavours may dominate more emphatically – so chocoMe Raffinée was born. In a tiny Raffinée sphere the lyophilized strawberry or sour cherry is softly embraced by a thin chocolate layer to keep the natural flavour experience while introducing the pleasant accompanying flavour of chocolate at the same time. The two chosen lyophilized fruits are not all the only options chocoMe has to offer. Piemonte hazelnuts have recently made their debut amongst chocoMe’s toppings. These nuts, considered the tastiest in the world, also put on a thin milk chocolate coat (with 40% cocoa content) for Raffinée. The Raffinée dragées, coated with special quality chocolate well-known from the chocoMe bars, are placed into an elegant container, which also functions as a gift box. Upon removing the cover, the box unfolds into a stylish bowl, presenting the Raffinée dragées in an exquisitely aesthetic serving.
chocoMe Awarded at the Great Taste Awards
Our chocolates gained recognition at international gastronomy competition The strict, 400-member jury of one of the world’s largest and most important food tasting competitions, the Great Taste Awards, awarded two of chocoMe’s chocolates. The competition – also known as the Oscars of food criticism – is mainly about flavours, not clever marketing or pleasing packaging. The members of the jury receive the products to taste without packaging or any further information. Among the members we find Michelin star chefs, acknowledged gastronomical professionals, supply chain directors of renowned stores and food critics.
10,000 products were nominated in this noble competition, where two of our creations, the F119 (40% milk chocolate base, sea salt with Tahitian vanilla, pecans and caramel flavoured chocolate pastilles), and the F102 (chocoMe 65% dark chocolate base, crystallized mint leaves, lime flavoured chocolate pastilles and crystallized lemon peel) were each awarded a star.
chocoMe 65% Dark chocolate
chocoMe 40% Milk chocolate
Crystallized mint leaves
Sea salt with Tahitian vanilla
Lime flavored chocolate pastille
Candied lemon peel
Caramel flavoured chocolate pastille
chocoMe: Small and MediumSized Enterprise of August The Ministry of National Economy founded the “Award for Successful Enterprises” with the aim of honouring and encouraging small and medium-sized enterprises as well as start-ups operating in Hungary which contribute to the economic growth of Hungary and serve as role models for leading an enterprise to success. Gábor Mészáros, the owner of chocoMe received the “SME of the Month” award from Mihály Varga, Minister for National Economy. This is the thirteenth award or recognition the enterprise was given since it’s start three years ago.
Pistachio from Bronte, the Green Gold of Sicily Fashion, vespas, wine and nuts characterise Italy. What proves the latter is no other than the world-famous Piemonte nuts (introduced in our previous magazine), and Bronte pistachio â€“ grown at the base of Mount Etna â€“, which is considered the best pistachio in the world. The typical soil for Bronte pistachios is a couple of hundred meters above sea level. During the day sunbeams fall in a sharp angle, heating up the air, but at night there is a significant fall in temperature and the air becomes chilly. Due to this temperature fluctuation, the water content of the seeds decreases and the flavours are emphasized in an even more concentrated form. Bronte pistachios, with their characteristic green colour, are harvested every two years. The key to their success is a secret growing guide (passed on from father to son), the acidic, volcanic soil of Mount Etna, and the salty sea air. Thanks to all these, Bronte pistachios are large and have a longish shape. Their scent is unrealistically intense, their unique flavour is unmistakable and slightly sweet. These pistachios need not be roasted nor salted, unlike the majority of pistachios sold in shops. After harvesting, Bronte pistachios need special handling. To prevent further water loss, they are placed into cooling chambers with their shells on, which are only removed before selling the pistachios. M101
Hello Russia! Привет, Россия! Это шокоМи! In September 2013, chocoMe made its debut in the largest country in the world, Russia.
Parallel to the Hungarian product launch, chocoMe entered the Russian market. Our chocolate bars were introduced in the main hall of the imposing Hyatt Ararat to Moscow-based journalists and bloggers. Our creations were a huge hit, the participants bombarded Gábor Mészáros, the owner of chocoMe with a series of questions. The following day we organized a chocolate- and wine-tasting event for our partners and friends in Moscow, which was also a great success. Furthermore, we took part in World Food Moscow, the four-day long, international exhibition for food products, where we received interest from all over Russia, the CIS countries and at least ten further countries.
“Based on first impressions and sales we may say Russian gourmets find great pleasure in our chocolates with toppings of gold, large red fruits and edible flowers, but they also love our two bars which were recognized at the Great Taste Awards – said Gábor Thúróczi, director of the chocoMe agency, Russia. Then he added: – An interesting fact is that our first three purchase orders came in from Samara, St. Petersburg and Kazakhstan.”
A Sweet Citadel in the Gourmet Quarter We asked Imre Kocsis, owner of CHOCOCO, about his relation to chocolate.
Let’s talk about CHOCOCO. Where did the idea to create this store come from? We are avid chocolate consumers. When we looked at chocolate shops in Hungary, we felt the need to create a professional store, where chocolate-lovers such as ourselves could find premium quality products in a large selection. Also, it is important that shop assistants are qualified and have professional knowledge, so that they may offer real help and interesting information to curious customers. Therefore, after “Csokoládé Outlet”, we opened our second sweet shop in Pauler Street, in the gourmet quarter of Krisztinaváros, in 2011.
The shop has a very characteristic interior design. Where did the idea to create such a design come from? We wished to create a milieu by both the interior design solutions and the scents, where one could feel he has arrived at an enchanted island, a magical chocolate world. We wanted this place to have an atmosphere where time stops, and one may browse through the chocolates as if browsing among beautiful, antique books in a library. A wall in the shop imitates a bookshelf, which also echoes our idea.
Which one is your favourite chocolate? My favourite one is not specifically chocolate. This is a special kind of sweet, made by the Spanish company Higuera: a whole date, filled with truffle cream with wine distillate, dipped into dark chocolate. And my new favourite is chocoMe’s Raffinée with Piemonte nuts, which was a bombastic experience when Gábor first asked me to taste it. What special chocolate kinds can we find in your store? This question is difficult to answer, since we created a store with a selection of thousands of chocolates, thereby fulfilling our main aim. It would take long to list our specialities. We have chocolates from all over the world, even slope-specific variations. We find it truly important that customers with special nutritional needs could find a real offer, real specialities on our shelves – therefore we cannot wait to see chocoMe introduce their sugar-free collection!
How did you come into contact with chocoMe? By accident. I found a chocoMe product photo online, which immediately caught my attention. I contacted Gรกbor, and we quickly made an appointment. Very soon we built a good, friendly relationship, and since then our business relations are continuously excellent as well.
Which chocoMe creation is the most popular in your store? Our most favoured bar is a not too complicated, but highly spectacular and tasty creation: dark chocolate base with lyophilized strawberry pieces and lyophilized violet petals. We often hear from our customers what a fantastic experience it is when scents are introduced as flavours. This bar is a true miracle among flowery compositions.
From Andalusia to all over the Iberian Peninsula Gรกbor Somlai directs chocoMe Iberica from Marbella, Spain, on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. From here, all the Iberian Peninsula is supplied with special creations. Why Spain? How did you choose Marbella? We wanted to live on the seashore, in a pleasant Mediterranean climate. It did not take us long to decide for Spain, where we knew assimilation would be easy. Since the sea is so close, the air is the purest. My young son goes to school with children of different nations, their education is in Spanish, but they also study English as a second language, so children can learn it fluently as well.
How did chocoMe get into the picture? We had a common lawyer connection with GĂĄbor. We talked long about chocoMeâ€™s products. I was a maximalist in my earlier workplaces (Mercedes-Benz, Renault Trucks) as well, only up to par products and services attracted me, so we hit it off with chocoMe rather quickly. What was the start like? We made our debut in March 2012, at the Salon de Gourmet in Madrid. Our products were highly successful, but the connections we made there were very difficult to utilize at first. Here, you can only develop through solid contact systems built through years and years, so as newcomers we had a rough first year. Still, now we have more than 150 retailers, and our turnover is 50,000 bars/year. Our plan is to sell 100,000 bars this year. How many people work in the team? Four altogether. I direct the company, my wife handles finance, I have a Spanish colleague responsible for trade and a colleague from Barcelona, she is the one who deals with marketing. In what ways does the Spanish taste differ from the Hungarian? Have you encountered anything odd in the local market? They favour dark chocolate the most, half of our sold chocolates are such type, 30% is milk chocolate and 20% is white. In the summer the Spanish do not consume chocolate at all, therefore our season lasts from October until May. Which chocoMe creation is the most popular in Spain? The same ones as in Hungary: chocolate bars with nuts or fruits. What is the feedback from the consumers? They are highly content with the quality and packaging of the bars, but only exclusive shops deal with them, since vendors have to know which of the 45 creations suits the customer the most. Often you need to talk to customers to make clear what kind of base material we use during the creation process, and to make them understand the philosophy of the product. We receive more and more purchase orders from offices. We are downright successful in this segment, which, luckily, proves to be a rather large market. We receive more and more orders for those unique chocoMe bars which were created to accompany wines. Still, there are over 15,000 wineries here, the majority of which still has to be familiarized with the advantages of chocolate-wine pairing. What are your future plans? In the short run, we would like chocoMe bars to be available at all airports and up to par gourmet shops, and also for wineries to use our products at tastings. In the long run we would like to have an own chocoMe manufactory, to be able to fulfil our consumersâ€™ needs more quickly.
Eszter Hamvas – our colleague and supporter, who has been with us since the beginning. Could you tell us some words about your previous jobs? How did you start working for chocoMe? I used to work for traditional sweet shops, making standard cakes and wedding cakes. Then, some three years ago, I took part in a chocolate manufactory tour, where I met Gábor. I realized it would slowly be time for me to change workplaces, and Gábor happened to be in need of another co-worker. You could say I was in the right place at the right time. What is your task at chocoMe exactly? I have a variety of tasks. I order the base materials, organize the daily tasks, choose and teach new co-workers, but my main task is to create chocolate. How many chocolates have you created so far? I don’t know the exact amount, but the number might be around 150,000! Does it ever happen that after getting home from work you feel a craving for a bar of chocolate? I don’t really have a sweet tooth, so I rarely eat such things. But I must admit, our new Raffinée-s ended up extremely tasty, so nowadays sometimes I give up and pop in some cinnamon hazelnuts or cocoa sour cherries. Which was the oddest chocolate bar order you have ever encountered? There have been some rather interesting orders, but the top for me was a bar with milk chocolate base, and toppings of gummi bears, caraway seeds and wasabi nuts! Nobody has ever managed to create an odder one. I’m not sure, though, but I would say someone lost a bet and needed to eat this bar as punishment!
chocoMe Kft. 1135 Budapest, Kisgรถmb utca 23. www.chocome.hu firstname.lastname@example.org www.facebook.com/chocome.hu +361 789 5755