chocoMe Magazin 5TH ISSUE AUGUST 2014
chocoMe's 4th anniversary 1 million HANDmade chocoMe chocolates
INTERNATIONAL CHOCOALTE AWARD! Sea salt with red wine chocoMe in Slovakia latin quarter in szegeden
the day has arrived! chocoMe became 4 years old! On this occasion we would like to thank all our Partners the devoted work, undiminished confidence and helpful attitude by which we could get this far. We would like to give thanks to our customers non the less for the continous interest in our company and products, letting us know with every purchase that our hard work is not in vain. And of course we would like to say thank you to all our colleagues at the manufactory who are unrelenting in their efforts day after day so our products can meet the highest quality standards. â€Ślet's see what happened in the last 4 years:
After a lot of preparation and planning chocoMe's web site launched in the evening on June 21 in 2010, ready to process the first orders.
We used 98.800 kg of chocolate (out of which 92.8 tons were used to make the 100g chocolate bars, and around 3 tons were used to create the CarrĂŠ (50g) and the same ammount for the RaffinĂŠe products.
We used 1.2 kgs of edible gold 7 tons of freeze-dried fruits, 2.5 tons of pecans, 2 tons of almodns, 2 tons of pistachio from Bronte, 1.1 ton of violet petals, 900 kgs of rose petals, 350 kgs of candied mint leaves, 75 kgs of cinnamon.
On September 29, 2011 we opened our showroom in the 13th district of Budapest.
We built a bigger manufactory in October 15, 2012, which we further expanded in the summer of 2013.
The most chocolate we made in one day was on November 26 in 2013, counting 4976 bars.
Along with the seasonal staff we had the 21 employees at the most.
Running operations mean a lot of deskwork, our highest phone bill was 142.000 HUF (roughly 460 €).
a mai napig az legextrémebb összeállításunk, melyet egyéni igény alapján állítottunk össze: fehércsokoládé alapon: gumimaci, snidlinghagyma,
The furthest delivery we made was to Sakhalin Island in Russia (11.400 Km), the closest was across the street, to our Partner's store.
Our owner Gábor Mészáros traveled an astounding 165.000 Km as of yet, mainly by plane.
We can boast with more than 1000 press appearances.
Presently chocoMe is the topic of 22 university theses.
We made the most postal deliveries on December 4, 2013, 72 packages.
Our first employee Eszter Hamvas, still works at the company, she's the manager of the chocoMe manufactory.
chocoMe wins a silver medal at the â€œInternational Chocolate Awardsâ€?
chocoMe received yet another coveted industry award, ranking it amongst the world’s best chocolate makers. The Hungarian chocolate company’s recent innovation, Piemonte Hazelnut Raffinée, was judged at one of the most prestigious independent international events, the International Chocolate Awards, winning a Silver Medal. The competition is similar to the Michelin Star in significance, but comes closer in nature to the Bocuse d’ Or. chocoMe is the first Hungarian company to receive this, one of the most important awards in the world. The international jury, chaired by Martin Christy, founding member of the Academy of Chocolate in the UK and editor of the authoritative chocolate website Seventy%, included famous chocolatiers and culinary experts, sommeliers and chefs, representing the world’s leading chocolate organisations and media ((Seventy% (UK), Manhattan Chocolate Society (US), Master of Wine (UK), The New Taste of Chocolate (US), Ecole Chocolat Professional School of Chocolate Arts (US), The Well-Tempered Chocolatier (Canada)). chocoMe ’s prize-winning product, Piemonte Hazelnut Raffinée, takes hazelnuts from the slopes of the Langhe in Piemonte, Italy, considered to be the most delicious hazelnuts in the world, and covers them in milk chocolate lightly infused with cinnamon, thus retaining their characteristic flavour under layers of sweetness. It is one of the five varieties of chocoMe’s new Raffinée range, whole pieces of fruit and nuts enrobed in Belgian chocolate. “It is a great joy to be honoured with this prestigious award not just for chocoMe but for Hungarian chocolate making as a whole,” said Gábor Mészáros, chocolatier and founder of chocoMe, who accepted the Silver Medal at the magnificent Palazzo Medici Riccardi in Florence. “This is the highest professional recommendation that chocoMe could get in this category. The next category would be the “bean-to-bar” where the chocolate makers control the whole process from bean selection through roasting and conching to the final product,” added Gábor Mészáros. Only a month ago the Raffinée range received a design award for its packaging at the A’Design Awards 2014 in Milan. As Gábor Mészáros summed up, “Form and content are now in perfect harmony, we can only hope that the customers will appreciate this as much as we do, as our goal is still to make the perfect chocolate for them.” This is the Hungarian company’s second major international industry prize, and the 15th award in four years.
OUR latest favourite ingredient: Sea salt with red wine No surprise that salt with red wine is a French product! This exceptional salt comes from Ile de Ré, a tiny island off the West coast of France. And Bordeaux wine is probably well known enough, it doesn’t need to be introduced… Pairing up the premium products of these two regions, the result is an enthralling gastronomic delicacy: It is a must for you to try it with chocolate! Our creation made with this topping:
chocoMe in Slovakia We would like to introduce our Partners in Slovakia. We feel very fortunate that we can distribute our products through multiple channels in this country. The Tabako Inc. does business on the retail market, while Lengo Media is our event, PR and corporate distributor, complimenting each others job, strengthening the brand presence.
János Ficza – Lengo Media What did you do before you came in contact with chocoMe? At first I was working in corporate marketing, then I went into PR. My jobs tied me to Hungary, this is where I finished my education too, so after I started my own communication agency I was searching for a Slovakian clientele who are also present on the Hungarian market and vice versa. I know both countries and both markets, and built my network of contacts through the years which is very useful for helping chocoMe as well. Is the chocolate business just one addition to what you do? We live in Komárno with my wife, this is our managing headquarters as we run the company together. We do the chocolate distribution from here as well as communication- and event development, and we will open a café and souvenir shop downtown. My wife runs the chocoMe distribution and I do the back office. When did you came across the chocoMe brand for the first time? In the Autumn of 2010 I was managing an event in Budapest, that's when one of my friends brought it to my attention as chocoMe was beginning to get country-wide recognition and becoming a cool brand. It picked my professional curiosity of course and I kept the company on my radar as it was obvious from the beginning that this is something special. Later I approached Gábor with an event idea, which we could not execute at the time, but a couple of months later it became clear that the brand would be a perfect fit for the Slovakian market. Gábor was interested by the time I approached him again. What was your first impression of the products? Beautiful, smart, unique and stylish. For some reason I connect the develpoment of chocoMe with the growing hipness of Budapest. As the city became more attractive and trendy the demand for premium Hungarian products grow with it. I immediately saw the potential in both.
What are your areas of ditribution? We went B2B and corporate at first, as we recognized that chocoMe chocolates are a perfect alternative for the boring complementary gifts and go well paired with wine, or by themselves. In this area the busiest period is Autumn, when the companies start to organize their holiday events. We also run the slovakian chocoMe website and we are attending regional and national gastro events and cultural festivals, big corporate events. Our work in distribution mainly cover retail partners, cafĂŠs, gift shops, flower shops. Do you have any key partners or customers? Our biggest clients are corporations, for example one of the sponsors of the slovakian national ice hockey team purchased chocolate bars with edible gold for the guests of the banquet before the Winter Olympics. Ice hockey is the national sport of Slovakia not unlike water polo in Hungary. How difficult was the brand's introduction to the market? Everything needs time, naturally the opportunities didn't just fall into our laps. Our biggest strength is our PR experience, which comes very handy as slowly growing competition proves to be our greatest challenge. Which are the most popular creations in Slovakia? Naturally the fruity creations as everywhere else, but strawberry and pecans seems to be a hit as well. Chocolate bars with chili are also popular, Slovakians like to experiment with this topping. What are your plans for the rest of the year? In the second half of the year we will concentratre on the marketing communication of the new product brands: we'll introduce the RaffinĂŠe, CarrĂŠ and no added sugar products to our customers, and we will also relaunch our website this summer. Starting from August we are preparing for the holiday season, like every year. It's going to be a lot of work too. Which are your personal favourite creations? I like the two Great Taste Award winners the best: the one with the vanilla, pecans and caramel with the salt from Tahiti and the one with the mint and lime drops. They are both masterpieces, their own unique worlds of flavour. Great examples why does it worth it to make and distribute chocolate.
Ferenc Takรกcs - Tabako Inc. What did you do before you came in contact with chocoMe? I was and still am the sales manager of the company, we sell tobaco products, and premium wines, our new addition is chocoMe chocolates.
Is the chocolate business just one addition to what you do? At first they served as an addition to our best wines but they took on a life of their own since then.. so to speak.
When did you came across the chocoMe brand for the first time? I first noticed the products while christmas shopping in 2011.
What was your first impression of the products? From the first moment I was really excited about them, I immediately bought a couple of bars. Once I tasted them, I was hooked. I knew I have get in contact with the company right away.
What are your areas of ditribution? Our area of distribution are gift shops, flower shops, high-end liquor stores.
How difficult was the brand's introduction on your part? Our partners were unsure at first as they really liked the products but the price was surprising.
Which are the most popular creations? Fruity creations for sure and anything with edible gold. Dark chocolate is the most popular base, then milk, then white.
What are your plans for the rest of the year? Our first priority is the introduction of CarrĂŠ to our partners and customers and we have some new business opportunities to explore.
Which are your personal favourite creations? Personally I think MG111 and B109 are the best.
Latin quarter in Szegeden We asked János Tóth, owner of the two Latin Quarter shops in Szeged about his connection to chocoMe. János, introduce the Latin Quarter to us! We heard you have a webshop and two stores in Szeged! Latin Quarter is the biggest chocolate store in the south of Hungary. We have more than a thousand brands of chocolate, tea and coffee for our customers to browse. Of course in the beginning we were just a tiny store, we started our business in 2004 with a 40 m2 place. Today we have a 300 m2 store in the heart of Szeged and our shop in the Árkád mall will have to be expanded to 110 m2 this September. The readers of the chocoMe magazine will be the first to know that we open our third shop this November in the Újszeged district, in a new mall they just finished building. We launched our webshop in 2010 and we were proud to learn that it's not only popular in Hungary but in the neighbouring countries as well. Our newest addition is the open workshop in our downtown store where people can observe the chocolate manufactoring process from behind glass. Where did you get the idea to open a store like this? Basically I'm really passionate about gourmet food. We always wanted to work in a field of gastronomy where we never have to compromise quality to make the products affordable. Next to our wide variety of wares I'm most proud of that we managed to achieve that, and we were able to introduce the brands of the best manufactories from all over Europe, and in terms of coffee and tea we have the best products in the world on our shelves. It is really important to us that our products are not crazy expensive so everyone can experiece the care and craftsmanship they were made with. How did you came in contact with chocoMe? When did you first saw the brand? As it is part of our business we are looking for new brands all the time. We came across chocoMe fairly early they only had a couple of employees back then. If i remember correctly we started selling their products in the Autumn of 2010. They were really popular and the introduction of Raffinée just made the brand even more successful. Which are the most popular chocoMe creations at the store? Are those recommended or custom made chocolates? There is no big difference between the recommended and custom made creations in terms of popularity. Our customers like dark chocolate with forest fruits primarily. Seasonal creations are also always popular, cinnamon with honey and orange are top hits around christmas. This means that we already have an established taste for quality chocolate in Hungary, although Hungarians are a bit shy and conservatiove when it comes to try new, exotic toppings, we hold a lot of tastings in our shops so they could get used to them. Can we ask about your personal favourite?
I think I would say I have phases.. my mint and dark chocolate phase just ended and my caramell with sea salt on milk chocolate phase just begun. Is there any brands that can be purchased exclusively at your stores? We import a lot of products directly from relatively small localised manufactories from all over Europe, so in that sense we sell hundreds of unique brands. But I would like to mention one particular product, or chocolate base to be precise. The french Varlhona manufactory developed a process which allows them to caramellize white chocolate and they created a new brand for it called Dulcey „blonde” chocolate. It is an incredibly intersting savour, without the hallmark fatty undertone of white chocoalte. We are currently experiment with this chocolate type and we'll introduce our new line of pralines based on it.
Virágok és virágos csokoládék forgatagában
ON the office front introducing Petra Mayer Until now we introduced collegues working in the manufactory proper, making chocolate but we felt it's time to get to know the professional behind them, the woman who paves the way for chocoMe products around the globe. Petra, what did you do before you came to work for chocoMe? After I graduated with a major in pedagogy I was working in a beauty parlour for a while, I got the opportunity to work at chocoMe just as I was starting to feel like I need something a bit more challenging. How did you nail the job? One of my friends brought it to my attention that GĂĄbor was looking for people to hire, so I sent him my resume right away, met him personally on the next day and we are working together ever since. I really liked the concept, GĂĄbor's enthusiasm, his attitude and I found my postition really interesting. That was more then three years ago. What does your day to day job consist of at chocoMe? When I started I had a wide array of really diverse tasks, but it streamlined over time. Primarily I handle exports and foreign partner relations, logistics, coordination and all the administrative tasks that come with these. Any hobbies, family? I am married for two years now, we spend all our free time together. We travel a lot, visit our families regularly - both of our parents live 200 kms away. Other than that I love reading and recently started doing yoga. Which chocolate is your personal favourite? I can't get enough of the raspberry RaffinĂŠe. It would be hard for me to pick a chocolate bar.. I really like powdered vanilla, coffee, cinnamon coated almods, milk chocolate, pecans and dark chocoalte with Bourbon vanilla. I'm a big fan of our no added sugar creations that we introduced recently.
chocoMe Kft. 1135 Budapest, Kisgรถmb utca 23. www.chocome.hu email@example.com www.facebook.com/chocome.hu +361 789 5755