This interview is the first in our series of talks or interviews with chocolatiers, stores owners, and experts. To be consistent, we are going to ask the same set of questions.
Since I moved to Budapest, I have had the chance to visit a store located in the heart of the downtown. Initially, I was attracted by the store's simple display. Cocoa beans and pods are positioned elegantly alongside bars of chocolate.
Rózsavölgyi Csokoládé is based on the bean-to-bar concept. They have won several international awards for their products. You can find more detailed information about the rewards on their website
Yesterday, I was able to sit with the owner, Katalin, and we had a small chat.
Q1: How did you start the chocolate business?
I do not exactly know. One day in 2004, I woke up and decided to try to make and eat a high-quality chocolate.
Q2: What is the concept or main theme behind your brand?
The name of our company means the rose (Rózsa) valley (völgyi) in English. It is based on the neighbourhood where we live. It is in Budapest. As for the logo, I came up with it while I was drawing. It shows a heart, an eye in the middle, a hat, hands, and legs. These parts do not represent or mean anything specific.
Q3: What is the flagship product you are proud of?
Our signature cocoa bean is the Trincheras, which we receive from Trincheras, a small village in Venezuela.
Q4: Three advice for chocolate fans
The first advice is to trust their taste when they eat chocolate without relying too much on what others say. The second is to eat a lot of chocolate and cocoa to develop their chocolate tasting. The third is, I cannot think of a third...
Q5: Where do you get the cocoa beans from?
We get 7 beans varieties from Venezuela, 1 from Nicaragua, 2 from Madagascar.
Q6: What are the varieties that are used to make chocolate in your company?
Please, check the website for a complete list
Q7: How do you see the future of chocolate and cocoa business? where is the industry going?
I think the future belongs to small factories for several reasons. First, farmers prefer small businesses because they get more money for their cocoa. However, in return, the small company requests higher quality beans and a fermentation expertise. For example, In Jamaica, the farmers give the cocoa pods to the government who sell them to companies. After selling the crop, the farmer gets a small share. But when farmers sell the pods or beans to small businesses, they can get at least four times more because the beans are of a higher quality. Secondly, small businesses encourage environmentally friendly practices such as being organic and not cutting existing forests to establish a bigger farm.
The future is for small stores, bean-to-bar factories, even tree-to-bar. In the latter, farmers are able to make their own chocolate right on the farm.