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. For this reason, we decided to take a new step in chocolate production, and become a chocolate-maker as well as being a chocolatier.
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 a bean-to-bar line would help us achieve our goals. The goal is to meet cacao farmers who we are sourcing from for our chocolate. This is made possible by working with a transparent intermediary (Uncommon Cacao) to purchase cacao ethically, especially in regions of conflict like Colombia.
The first three origins that we are working with are Costa Rica (working with Nahua Cacao), Colombia, Peru 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.
In May 2018, we went to visit the farms we are buying from in the Dominican Republic. You can view a short interview we did with the farmers in the Dominican Republic here.
In 2019, Jacqueline visited Colombia to learn more about Colombian cacao, and how cacao is having a positive impact on the lives of farmers. You can check out the article she wrote about her experience here.
Unfortunately, the trip to Peru in 2020 to meet the farmers in the Marañón canyon was cancelled due to travel restrictions imposed by COVID-19, but this trip will be rescheduled once travel opens up again (and we can’t wait!).
JACEK will continue to source chocolate from expert Chocolate Makers in France (Valrhona) 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.