Inspiration for chocolate makers
Sjokoladelåven and Stoa Chokolade have been visiting small chocolate manufacturers in Belgium. They were able to investigate quality products from six small but highly regarded chocolate makers.
Elise and Håkon Edvard Nesset of Sjokoladelåven and Anne Lene Stoa of Stoa Chokolade have picked up a lot of new ideas and inspiration to work on after their return. The trip was organised by Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) in Norway and Brussels, in collaboration with Nofima.
Belgium and especially Brussels is widely recognised for its chocolate and the city is full of small, exclusive manufacturers. Several small-scale chocolate producers have also appeared in Norway in recent years. The Enterprise Europe Network programme works to promote the development of expertise across national borders, and on this occasion it was all about chocolate.
The initiative for this visit came from Norway, with an approach to the EEN office in Brussels. The EEN office organised appointments with relevant chocolate makers and set up a two-day programme for the Norwegian producers. The Belgian producers represented different business models. Some relied on traditional craft, with all the ingredients handmade and the pralines coated individually by hand. Some made use of extra equipment. Several of them exported part of their production. What they all had in common was that they were small, with two to four employees.
The Norwegian chocolate makers found new impressions and new inspiration, in design, production technology and equipment for small scale production. They were very satisfied with their two eventful days and made some valuable contacts, which will be useful to them later. Now they hope that Norwegian chocolate makers can start a network, to exchange ideas, experience and inspiration.
The producers visited in Brussels were Passion Chocolat, Chocolaterie Duval, Zaabar, Laurent Gerbaud, Chocolatier Manon and Chocolat Jamart.