JACEK Chocolate Couture started back in December 2009 with the vision of combining two facets of joy; fashion and fine chocolate. With this in mind, a business was created where a new line of artisan bonbons (truffles) was created for each fashion season. The unique model of seasonal collections is a platform for continuous evolution of our products. It allows our team to be very creative and to continuously innovate, which is a joyful journey for us, and hopefully for our guests.
Over the last few years, our team has evolved, bringing in new talent and skills, which has allowed us to grow and bring more joy to our community. Three years ago, we hired the talented Chef Curtis Jones as a Chocolatier, and the bonus is that he had a few years experience as a Chocolate Maker. You might ask, what’s the difference?
The best way to describe the difference between a Chocolatier & a Chocolate Maker is to use a fashion analogy:
Chocolatier: The Chocolatier is essentially the dressmaker, purchasing chocolate made by the Chocolate Maker, and using their technical skills to blend, temper and complete the process to create the final bonbon (truffle) or chocolate bar.
In 2015, we focused on how our team could work to a new level of fulfilling our core purpose to bring joy, and thought that we might be able to achieve this by using Curtis’ skill & experience as a Chocolate Maker to create a line of bean-to-bar products. The goal is to eventually build relationships with cacao farmers who we are sourcing from for the new line. This will help us be more in control of the supply chain and the ‘fabrics’ that we use, ensuring that there is joy at each step in the process, from the farmer to our lips! This of course is a lofty goal, and will take years to develop, but we are excited to be starting the process.
For the first shipment of beans, we worked with a distributor in the US who sources ethical beans, as we aren’t yet in position to buy large volumes. The first three origins that we are working with are Peru, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic. We created a new line with this ‘bean-to-bar’ chocolate that we are crafting, and calling it the ‘Fabric Collection’, which aligns to the descriptions above to describe the difference between a Chocolatier and a Chocolate Maker. Each origin has distinct flavours and characteristics. Want to learn more, please come join us for a chocolate tasting!
In March 2016, Jacqueline went to Costa Rica to learn more about the farms and cacao there, and we are excited to be launching a Costa Rican bar in the near future. You can read more about this cacao exploration here.
JACEK will continue to source chocolate from expert Chocolate Makers in France (Valrhona & Cacao Barry) for their artisan truffle collections, as they are also committed to ethical practices. Being both bean-to-bar & working with other chocolate makers will allow us to diversify how we source our chocolate (but all ethically of course!), and to create interesting & delicious new products for our guests to enjoy.
Chef Curtis Jones, Head Chocolate Maker at JACEK Chocolate Couture.