chocoMe Magazin 6TH ISSUE OCTOBER 2014
Great Taste Award
EVEN MORE INTERNATIONAL SUCCESS NEW Raffinée FROM THE JUNGLES OF MADAGASCAR chocome ARRIVED IN CANADA MAJESTIC SAVOURS FROM THE ISLAND OF tahiti chocoMe IN THE UNITED STATES
Even more international success for chocoMe Great Taste Award 2014
At the Great Taste Award 2014 international culinary contest in London three chocoMe product received professional recognition (one creation was awarded with 2 stars and each of two other creations received 1 star). The Great Taste Award contest was founded in 1994 in London and it’s revered as one of the most strict and prestigious gastronomic competition, where the candidates enter in different product categories.
The award-winning chocoMe products*:
The Raspberry Raffinée part of the Raffinée brand nominated in fall 2013 received a 2 star rating.
Two chocolate bars were awarded with 1 star rating:
F101: chocoMe 65% dark chocolate with cinnamon, pecans, pistachio from Bronte and cranberry G105: chocoMe white chocolate with freeze-dried raspberry, freeze-dried sour cherry and cranberry
* (Competing products can receive a 1 to 3 star rating, 3 being the best possible result)
These products were strictly evaluated by a jury of 400 professionals who spent more than a thousand hours blind-tasting food during the competition. The contest is purely about taste, without clever marketing solutions and dazzling package design: the jury receives the tasting samples without identification or foreknowledge (blind-test). Among the jury we had Michelin Star winning masterchefs, restaurant critics and food buyers from prestigious department store chains (Harrods, Fortnum & Mason, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and Whole Food Markets).
“chocoMe is a very young brand, we started the company merely 4 years ago, yet this is our third international acknowledgement awarded for six entries. Last year we received 1 star for each of our two entries at the Great Taste Award 2013 (with the F102 and F119 chocolate bars), and in May 2014 we were honored with a Silver medal for our Hazelnut Raffinée creation at the International Chocolate Awards. It is almost inconceivable that in such a short time our name is amongst the world’s most respected chocolate makers.” - said Gábor Mészaros, chocolatier, owner of chocoMe.
NEW, GENTLY searing Raffinée TASTE STRAIGHT FROM THE JUNGLES OF MADAGASCAR! chocoMe presents the sixth groundbreaking flavour in it’s Raffinée range this autumn; just a year after the brand’s introduction the number of available dragees is double of the original three. “It came as a surprise even for us how popular the recently realised Raffinée became among our customers as well as in professional circles” - said chocoMe owner Gábor Mészáros. - “In merely a year we sold 60 000 boxes, won a Silver Medal at the International Chocolate Awards with our Hazelnuts from Piemonte Raffinée (becoming the first Hungarian company to do so) and won at the A’ Design Awards with our brand line packaging. But the new Raffinée is just part of a trio of debuts: here we introduce for the first time chocoMe’s new high-end dark chocolate which combined with one of the rarest spices on Earth, the Voatsiperifery pepper from Madagascar makes a harmonic unity as the new wild pepper and dark chocolate covered almond Raffinée. We tame the surging mass of dark chocolate made from cocoa beans from Madagascar with hand-harvested, finely ground wild pepper found only on Madagascar as well, then throw toasted almonds into this fiery mixture before we cover them in cocoa powder. - said Gábor Mészáros explaining the proccess. The new, and yet most piquant Raffinée mixes dark chocolate with the pepper from Madagascar, which with it’s complex flavoures will surely give a gastronomic experience unlike anything ever before. The secret is in the ingredients: the chocolate we use called chocoMe Grand Cru Madagascar dark chocolate 64% comes from the world-renowned Valhrona chocolate company’s high-end, hand picked cocoa beans originating from the same production area. It’s a special type of chocolate with a complex taste, made from the Criollo and Trinitario cocoa beans growing only in the valley of the river Sambirano. Next to the dominant, slightly bitter chocolate the wild pepper’s uniquely complex, exciting taste with woody overtones and the spiciness of citrus fruits as well as carrying the aromas of tropical fruits and the Earl Grey tea. With it’s 64% cocoa content this makes a brilliantly balanced gastronomic experience, with a long, pleasant aftertaste The roasting of the almond pieces are done according to our specifications in the workshop of a local professional
Ultra-premium Hungarian artisanal chocolates come to Canada
This past week, Budapest-based boutique chocolate atelier, chocoMe, presented its artisanal, handcrafted and sumptuously packaged flavoured chocolates for members of Toronto’s food media. This marks chocoMe’s first foray into the Canadian market. On Tuesday, October 7, the private room at Opus on Prince Arthur, the restaurant globally recognized for its stunning wine program and cellar, as well as its clientele of Hollywood A-listers, provided the host venue for the intimate gathering of Toronto’s food and arts media. Attendees had the privilege of personally meeting the company’s founder and visionary, chocolatier Gábor Mészáros. Mr. Mészáros, a former Heineken accounts manager for Hungary, delivered a short and visually stunning presentation depicting the making of his exquisite hand-rendered chocolates. A series of short videos outlined the production at the state-of-the-art facility that is at once technologically advanced and incredibly meticulous—the artist’s hand is in every perfectly rendered item. Mr. Mészáros’ presentation focused on the extremely rare, high-quality ingredients that receive start treatment in each product. chocoMe works with Callebaut and Valrhona, sourcing exquisite flavouring ingredients from around the world, such as Tahitian vanilla, hazelnuts from Piedmont, pistachio from Bronte, Voatsiperifery wild pepper from Madagascar, freeze-dried fruits from Germany and flower petals from the southern France, not to mention 23K edible gold and sterling silver flakes. Canada’s own Zoltan Szabo, a partner in chocoMe Canada Inc., poured fine wines to pair along with the several different chocolate samples, putting his talents and sommelier skills to good use. “These pairings are incredible—they really elevate the wine-and-chocolate experience,” said CityBites magazine owner and editor Dick Snyder. These exquisite 100 gram chocolate bars and 100-to-120 grams boxes of Raffinée are presented in award-winning packages that are already available in two Toronto gourmet hotspots, All The Best Fine Foods in Rosedale and The Cheese Boutique in Toronto’s west end. chocoMe have received multiple Great Taste Awards, as well as a silver medal at the renowned International Chocolate Awards. These refined and elegant chocolates are available in 20 countries, now including Canada.
MAjestic Flavours from the ISLAND of Tahiti Used correctly the bourbon vanille infused sea salt has an extatic effect on the senses: we mostly like to combine it with caramell flavoured chocolate pistols, as salty caramell is one of our tried and true favourites and with a base like that we can't go wrong no matter which topping we use to finish up the creation! Every single person who tried or even smelled our pure sea salt with real vanille was enchanted. It is an illustrious delicacy - and didn't end up in our repertoir by accident. And our favourite creation which takes full advantage of this toppings magical properties is the Pecan RaffinĂŠe covered in caramell infused milk chocolate mixed with sea salt and bourbon vanille. Where the perfect unity of thickly swirling caramell and creamy milk chocolate is christened by the mix of ground pure sea salt from Tahiti and original bourbon vanille. The pecans take a dive into this river of flavoure then we gently roll them in milled wafer.
chocoMe IN the UNITED STATES - TEAM introduction We asked Barbara Hendrich, the teams spokesperson to introduce us the relations between chocoMe and the US market.
When did you meet the brand for the first time? Christmas in 2010 I got a chocoMe chocolate bar as a present from one of our partners and my first thought was "wow... I'm not going to eat this, it's too pretty". How did you guys come in contact with chocoMe, what did you do before? I've been in media and marketing for 15 years and my business partner György Széphelyi was in commerce for decades. When we came accross the brand our first thought was that with our knowledge of the market and with our network of contacts we should approach Gábor with an offer to introduce chocoMe to the clients in the USA. We did, and here we are - since then we have an "angel" of an investor, Miklós, and we run the company the three of us together. Was the introduction an easy business? Did the people accept the brand as fast as you anticipated? Introduction is never easy in the US as 20 000 confectionary brands from around the world tries to get a foothold on the market each year. There is great promise in the sheer size of the market on one hand, but on the other this size also hides the great danger of low visibility and possible mediocrity. One can go over the budget several times in marketing spendings just to cover one state, and still, it will be just a drop in the ocean. What is really positive is that it is very good to "do business" with the Americans - they are really nice, open, patient, the sales world is a lot different than in Europe. The best experience we had is they can't just walk by our product, they feel it sepcial, they want to hold it, they want to inspect it. Our first bump on the road was that we didn't try to debut at a gourmet event, we tried our luck at a more mainstream mass product expo (2012, Chicago). We learned a lot at the event, but didn't get as much out of it in terms of sales and visibility, we started on the gourmet market a bit later at the Winter Fancy Food Show (San Francisco) and the Summer Fancy Food (New York) expos. These are the biggest events in the US in the specialty food sector, and one can only get in and take part after a serious pre-selection process. These gave us the first opportunity to take advantage of our contacts. Our greatest challenge stays the fact that it's not easy to get into the biggest store chains with the steep prices we have.
How many employees do you have, who aids your work specifically? We have the same team since the beginning. The company's sales manager is Attila Romรกn, who's one of our key players. He spends half his time here at home, and half his time in the States. But for the most part there are the four of us, we have a sales department in California and some strategic partners. Which products are your favourites? From a visual standpoint my favourite is V114, I think it's one of our prettiest creations, from a culinary standpoint K106 is my absolute favourite, though it's not that pretty. Would you like to attend any big events or expos in the near future? In January 2015 we will attend the Winter Fancy Food Show again in San Francisco (it's a really prestigious event and we like the sunshine), and in next month we'll be in California, attending the Chocolate Festivalnot just as exhibitors but as sellers too, and in the summer we'll be back in New York on the Summer Fancy food show. How was 2014 for you? It had a great start with a huge order from Amazon.com, and a big shipment for a hotel in Las Vegas, we are also proud to have two new big distributors. The plan is still to try to get in the big gourmet store chains, but negotiations are already underway.
INTRODUCING Éva and Endre Felbermann's Confectionary shop in nyíregyháza We started our company Concord-99 Kft. in 1998 - it's a family business – we used to do engineering work primarily. As the good old fashioned confectionary-café shut down in our city we thought it would be a good idea to open a sweets shop that gives a personal customer experience. We wanted our shop to be a proud display of quality hungarian chocolate with a dash of added belgian delicacies, this is how chocoMe came into the picture. I remember seeing something about the company on the TV for the first time, I couldn't stop until I found their contact on the internet. On my wife's birthday November 15, 2012 we opened the Felbermann Éva Confectionary and Café on the Szent Miklós Square, in the middle of downtown, which is managed to this day by her. Our number one partner is still Gábor Mészáros and the chocoMe team, we came to be on very good personal terms. When he invited us to the opening ceremony of the new manufactory we felt how special our partnership really is. He tells us about all his success and we are happy to congratulate him and his team every time. We feel the success of chocoMe to be our success a little bit as well, and we do everything within our power to introduce his exceptional creations to as many people as possible. The most popular types are the fruity chocolates: cranberry, sour cherry, strawberry, blackcurrant. This is understandable as most customers "buy with their eyes" people who are new to the brand tend to buy the most colourful, the most visually appealing. We sell a lot of the award-winning creations. Our favourite is bourbon vanille infused sea salt with the caramell flavoured chocolate pistols. As an amateur local historian I wrote a book and the research material and photo library I accumulated gave the idea for us to try and start printing dessert boxes with romantic old-timey pictures. It gives a lot of "local flavour", and it's really personal. It is the speciality of our little shop. We supply the Zoo of Nyíregyháza also. We try to react to every request in a quick and creative fashion. Our slogan is: „precision is the key to success”
Virágok és virágos csokoládék forgatagában
Introducing our COLLEGUE
Kriszti Kamarásné How did you got into the chocoMe team? How long have you been working with the company? Edit Jónás was already working for chocoMe, she brought me to the manufactory in November 2011. I only had weekend shifts at first, but Gábor hired me full time in January. What did you do before? I was a nanny for a pair of twin sisters. What is you position at chocoMe? I started at packaging, now I'm making and preping chocolate, sometimes I help with the boxing. Which was the most interesting creation you ever saw? Chocolates made with chilli fillaments.. Which creation is your personal favourite? I love milk chocolate, especially with salty caramel (F119 and Pecan Raffinée), I'm also crazy about coffee with almonds (K106). Could you tell a bit more about yourself? Hobbies, family? I have three sons, all three plays football so from september to may I spend every weekend at the stadium. Otherwise I'm reading when I can find the time.
chocoMe Kft. 1135 Budapest, Kisgรถmb utca 23. www.chocome.hu firstname.lastname@example.org www.facebook.com/chocome.hu +361 789 5755