Read more about Fabric Chocolates and their products here and here.
1. What’s your favourite family tradition during this period of the year? I love cooking together with my husband. My task is the fish soup, but I forget every year how it’s made. 😀 (traditional Hungarian recipe, part of the Christmas Eve menu – LBC)
2. The Xmas song that puts you in the mood for the holiday season? We are always listening to Phil Collins.
3. What does the Xmas period mean to your chocolate business? Luckily many people find us to get their presents. It can get stressful to get ready with everything, but it is still the best period of the year.
1. What’s your favourite family tradition during this period of the year? These questions are a bit hard for me. Since we are working with chocolate it got a bit harder to get into the Christmas spirit because we are so busy. And as Zoli used to work in pyrotechnology we still sell fireworks for New Years Eve, so it changes everything during Christmas-time too.
2. The Xmas song that puts you in the mood for the holiday season? Jingle Bells and Last Christmas, but really only for a few moments, and then we go on.
3. What does the Xmas period mean to your chocolate business? As many of our products are designed to be gifted, of course we are selling lots of those and we are happy that people choose our handmade chocolates for their Christmas presents.
1. What’s your favourite family tradition during this period of the year? I have to say the last few years with our Christmas craziness its been near impossible to get home for Christmas though I did manage to this last year. It has to be my dad’s pancakes, he makes them every time we’re together as a family, but there seems something particularly special about having them together at Christmas.
2. The Xmas song that puts you in the mood for the holiday season? Anything by Michael Buble – though it does become a little weary by mid-December at the Cocoa House with him on non-stop!
3. What does the Xmas period mean to your chocolate business? Everything, it’s our busiest time of the year, though seeing our regular visitors who have joined us every Christmas Eve for the last 7 years is something very special being part of the Christmas traditions of other families.
1. What’s your favourite family tradition during this period of the year? Long dinners with everybody gathered around the table – the young ones more focused on the sweets and then off to play again, while the olders enjoy just sitting there and taking in the atmosphere of community.
2. The Xmas song that puts you in the mood for the holiday season? All the classics, from Bing Crosby’s White Christmas to Wham’s Last Christmas.
3. What does the Xmas period mean to your chocolate business? Xmas is of course the main season for any chocolate factory and we sell twice as much chocolate during Xmas as we do the rest of the year.
1. What’s your favourite family tradition during this period of the year? We have a little tradition that everyone finds ONE favourite sock.. to hang up on Christmas Eve and that is their Christmas stocking.
2. The Xmas song that puts you in the mood for the holiday season? Favourite Christmas song… well that’s a tie between Fairy tale of New York or White Christmas from the Home Alone soundtrack. It’s our fav Christmas movie.
3. What does the Xmas period mean to your chocolate business? Christmas means round the clock chocolate because it’s the most wonderful time of the year! 😉
Read my previous blog posts about Harrer here and here.
1. What’s your favourite family tradition during this period of the year? For many years now, on 24 December Karl gets up very early in the morning to go back to his hometown Mattersburg in Austria. Christmas starts there for him with breakfast on the main square among family. And more importantly, he brings back home the lights of Betlehem.
2. The Xmas song that puts you in the mood for the holiday season? I cannot start decorating the Christmas tree without listening to Bojtorján band’s song “A mai nap” (This day) and of course Christmas Eve is not complete without “Stille Nacht” (Silent Night).
3. What does the Xmas period mean to your chocolate business? The period before Christmas is probably the busiest for a pastry shop, but also full of love because we can watch the children joyfully eating their chocolate Santas and the happiness in the eyes of those who got our products as gifts for Christmas. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day is spent among family, these are the only days in the year when we are closed for business.
1. What’s your favourite family tradition during this period of the year? We unintentionally have accumulated a few family traditions around this time of year, from picking out and cutting down a fresh Christmas tree together, to dads own creation special cocktail on Christmas morning. However my favourite tradition is our newest one of making and decorating gingerbread people. To be honest though, we tend to hugely over decorate them to a point where they are almost inedible but for that hour or two on Christmas eve all 5 of us come together as a family, huddled round a table to mess about and have fun. – (I have attached a photo of our obscene creations)
2. The Xmas song that puts you in the mood for the holiday season? A difficult choice, it is a close call between Shakin Stevens and Paul McCartney, but I think it is Paul McCartney’s ‘Wonderful Christmas Time’ that wins out. My brother used this song in one of his very early short films he made He filmed people ‘de-stress’ during Christmas by getting them to smash up toys with a hammer. It was funny to watch, and amazingly did actually make people much happier. Always reminds me of Christmas.
3. What does the Xmas period mean to your chocolate business? Early mornings and late nights with the daily grind 🙂 But it also means a time for me to express a more creative side developing Christmas products such as hand decorated santas, snowmen, filled chocolates and limited edition flavours. Plus it means Christmas markets and I enjoy decorating our chocolate market stand with lights and trees making it very festive and stand out.
You can read more about James’ zero waste chocolate business and lifestlye here.
Wow, we’ve made it! It’s the 1st December and we can finally reveal the first chocolate maker featured within the Taste. Better. Chocolate. Advent Calendar. Each day, I will give you a little more details about the maker of the day including a quick 3-questions mini interview related to Christmas.
Josef Zotter is a well-known figure among craft chocolate makers as he started his business over 30 years ago in Austria. Visiting his factory really makes you feel like you are in a Willy Wonka movie. Transparency, ethical and environment-friendly approach to chocolate making, creative, bold and unusual flavour combinations.
Still, I choose this 65% dark blend to show you that behind all that crazy flavour rollercoaster that Zotter provides through their product range, they are mastering the basics just as well.
What’s your favourite family tradition during this period of the year?
Baking small biscuits together with my family, as we only do it for christmas and therefore it is really special to me.
The Xmas song that puts you in the mood for the holiday season?
To be honest, I don’t really like christmas songs, because they are everywhere during this time of the year and they get annoying quickly. However, if I’d have to choose one, I’d say it is „Little Drummer Boy“ in the version of Pentatonix (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJ_MGWio-vc)
What does the Xmas period mean to your chocolate business?
Christmas is the most busiest time for us, which of course makes me very happy.
Today is very special. My dream project, the Taste. Better. Chocolate. Advent Calendar just got a huge step closer to become a reality. And this is only possible because of you all who supported my campaign.
So to all 131 of you who backed my Kickstarter campaign in the last 32 days, let me express my most profound gratitude by saying Thank You! And then I get back to work because the project doesn’t end here at all. Chocolates are still on the way to Little Beetle Chocolates HQ, boxes and sachets are being prepared, shipping dates are getting closer. I’m crazy busy, excited and literally still can’t believe that this happened! 🙂 Thanks again!
Also, I would like to take a moment to thank the 24 chocolate makers featured in the calendar for accepting my invitation, for delivering their highest quality chocolates and for their continuous support. In addition, without the help of my husband, my family and my closest friends I wouldn’t be able to pull this off either, so huge thanks to them as well (but no rest until 1 December, haha!).
After the Kickstarter doors closed, there are still about 40 advent calendars remaining. I’m already negotiating with some retail partners but in case you want one or a few more calendars extra, reach out to me via email to arrange a purchase. Disclaimer:due to the time restriction for shipping I can accept purchases from UK only. Thank you for your understanding.
I’m thrilled to let you know that my Kickstarter campaign for the Taste. Better. Chocolate. Advent Calendar is now 111% funded! With a few hours to go until the campaign ends on 9 October (23:59 CET), I’ll be able to send out these unique craft chocolate advent calendars to my lovely backers.
To bring the project even closer to you, I decided to create a mini video-series where I introduce the makers featured within the advent calendar. Each video includes 4 makers:
Episode 1: Duffy’s, Pump Street Chocolate, Chocolate Tree, Solkiki Chocolatemaker
Episode 2: Dormouse Chocolates, York Cocoa Works, J.Cocoa, NearyNógs
Episode 3: Ara Chocolat, Mike&Becky, Original Beans, Zotter
Episode 6: FriisHolm, Malmö Chokladfabrik, Vento d’Oro, Aelan Chocolate Makers
The kind of chocolate that they will have within the advent calendar will remain a secret until December when I will share with you day-by-day each new maker and new flavour. I’m so excited about this project and can’t wait to hear what you think about the chocolates within the calendar, so if you haven’t got it yet, jump on board and get one of the limited edition Taste. Better. Chocolate. Advent Calendars. Hurry up, as there are only 200 calendars made and 121 of them are already gone. The calendar is exclusively available through Kickstarter until 9 October, offering worldwide shipping.
I’d like to take a moment here to thank all my lovely backers and also everyone who shared my project with others either by talking about it or by sharing it on social media and in email. The positive response to my idea blew me away and I am intensely grateful for all your support!
Don’t forget that by getting a Taste. Better. Chocolate. Advent Calendar you not only help me make my dream project come true, but you also support 24 craft bean-to-bar chocolate makers (most of whom are micro-batch businesses), and through them you strengthen a more sustainable and more ethical cacao supply chain and ensure a better livelihood for cacao farmers around the world.