Posted by Albert Chau, Russell Pullan on 23rd Dec 2016
It's nearly the end of 2016, and we thought we'd take this opportunity to look back at what's happened in our chocolate world.
The biggest thing that happened to us this year is the change of our logo and branding. It just feels like the right time for us. We started thinking about it actually over a year ago, and we knew that it's going to be a huge task.
The actual work started in February, when we started discussing the project with Lisa Yip, a London-based independent designer. Every time we spoke to her, we just bombarded her with information and ideas. She took it to her stride and created a whole range of wonderful designs, and after many iterations and rounds of discussions, we finally settled on the current logo which we really think encompasses what we are about. In the most simplistic form, the shape is an amalgamation of the number 5 and the letter D (representing the abbreviation of our name); but every stroke has a meaning also - one day we'll tell you more about it. Gone is the black background colour and we settled with a much lighter colour. Thank you Lisa for your genius design!
It's not just the logo that's changed. The packaging have all been given a facelift. We have spent a lot of time looking at various suppliers. As we are a British company, we opted for a company that makes the boxes in the UK. It is more expensive than buying from an overseas box supplier, but we are very happy with the results. Hopefully you like what we've done.
We have also had a few collaborations this year with other small UK food producers / specialists: Our "Cape Town" Curry & Raisins chocolate is a fun collaboration with Spice Kitchen - they created a curry mix exclusively for this chocolate. For our "Vienna" Coffee Caramel chocolate, we are now using the coffee from Alfie Coffee, a coffee roaster based in Glasgow that was our neighbour at the BBC Good Food Show in 2015. We are already looking forward to some exciting collaborations in 2017!
While we are talking about the "Cape Town" Curry & Raisins chocolate, we have got to mention that we launched this chocolate at the Small Business Saturday launch event in July. We got the guests to guess the flavour of the chocolate, and most people couldn't pinpoint the flavours even though they loved the chocolate. It was a fun evening for us to watch people's reaction. In fact, we loved this guessing game so much that when we were asked to supply chocolates for the Small Business Saturday Blue Tie Ball in September, we produced a batch of blue chocolates specially for this event, and got the guests to guess that flavour (it was Mango & Passion Fruit Caramel, but the colour really messed the minds up). Part of the Blue Tie Ball was to celebrate the life of Francesca Kemp, a fellow SmallBiz100 who unfortunately passed away last Christmas - we hope she looked down on us and smiled with us. We also took part in a Small Business Saturday music video and we published a Baked Alaska recipe in their cookbook which you can download for free. And it was a real honour to be asked to be a Small Business Champion again this year
We've been very lucky in various competitions this year - winning a dozen awards in total this year alone. Our proudest moment is definitely the evening when we won 3 awards at the International Chocolate Awards World Final in October, including a Gold award in the milk-chocolate enrobed caramels category for our "New York" Apple & Calvados Caramel. We entered 3 chocolates into the World Final and we were hoping for one award, maybe two if we were really lucky. Coming away with an award for each chocolate we entered, that was just unbelievable - it's a tough competition at this level, when there are so many great and experienced chocolatiers entering some really amazing products also. We hope that we will continue to build on this and create some exciting flavours in future.
Now Christmas is approaching fast, and we are going to take a few weeks' break, to recharge our batteries after this incredible year of hard work. It will give us time to reflect what we've done, and also allow us to get some inspirations for next year also - after all, we do love travelling and experiencing various culinary delights around the world, and that's how we bring our travel stories back and share with you in the form of chocolates.
At the beginning of this year, we were in California, driving down the famous Pacific Coast Highway (Route 1). While we were strolling along the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, we came across this star on the pavement.... OK, it's not really dedicated to us, but we found that rather amusing.
Thank you to everyone who's supported us in the past year. We have met a lot of wonderful customers and other chocolatiers/chocolate makers. Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! See you in 2017!
These are the last dates we'll accept orders for chocolates, so that they will arrive in time for Christmas: Mainland Europe & Ireland: 11 December 2016United Kingdom: 18 December 2016For very last-minute orders, we will accept orders on 19-20 December but we cannot guarantee all our chocolates will be in stock at that point (so we [...]
Today (03 Dec 2016) is Small Business Saturday in the UK. This is a grassroots, non-commercial campaign, which highlights small business success and encourages consumers to ‘shop local’ and support small businesses in their communities.To celebrate Small Business Saturday, we are offering FREE personalised message on all our boxes of filled chocolates for the whole weekend [...]
Pre-order Chocolates We are now accepting Christmas pre-orders for all our chocolates. Just follow these steps: Choose the chocolate products that you would like to pre-order. Use the coupon code XMAS2016 at checkout to receive 10% off each order. You can place your order(s) and use this code at any time from now until 2nd December 2016, [...]
The International Chocolate Awards 2016 World Final was held in London on the 14th October 2016, and we were very lucky to have won 3 awards for all the chocolates we have entered into this competition. To say we're "over the moon" is an understatement! Chocolatiers from all around the world have to win at their regional [...]
In an earlier blog-post, we mentioned that the inspiration of our Cape Town (curry & raisins) chocolate is based on a South African dish called Bobotie. We were first introduced to this recipe by our friend Jane, and here's the recipe from her that we'd like to share with you:Ingredients:25g butter1 large onion, chopped500g minced beef4 [...]
This year we are adding two new chocolates to our filled chocolates collection. If you haven't noticed already, each filled chocolate in our collection is named after a city in the world. Many of our chocolates are based on flavours inspired by our travels around the world. The first new flavour this year, curry and raisin, [...]
The Big Apple is now the Golden Apple!We are very happy that our "New York" (Apple & Calvados Caramel) chocolate has won a Gold award at the British National Competition of the International Chocolate Awards - the results were announced in York on 16 June 2016. This has always been one of our favourites at the [...]
Have you heard of Small Business Saturday? It " is a grassroots, non-commercial campaign, which highlights small business success and encourages consumers to ‘shop local’ and support small businesses in their communities." It doesn't matter if you are a small business owner, a customer or a local business network, you can get involved! The day itself takes place [...]
We're very happy to announce that we have won three awards at the Academy of Chocolate awards 2016:Silver award in the "Filled Chocolates - Other Caramel" category for "Hong Kong" (Soy Caramel)Bronze award in the "Filled Chocolates - Other Caramel" category for "New York" (Apple & Calvados Caramel)Bronze award in the "Filled Chocolates - Layered" category for "San Francisco" [...]
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