Choco­latier puts heart, soul into treats

Wairarapa News - - CONVERSATIONS - CHLOE WIN­TER

Nes­tled in a quaint, turn-of-the cen­tury cot­tage in the his­toric vil­lage of Grey­town, choco­latiers are tem­per­ing, mold­ing and sculpt­ing gourmet treats.

From clas­sic straw­berry and heav­enly caramel, to the more chal­leng­ing pink pep­per­corn, and curry and pop­padom, Schoc Choco­lates is al­ways test­ing taste buds.

Owner and cre­ator Mur­ray Lang­ham says he of­ten has new ideas float­ing around in his mind. At the mo­ment, he is toy­ing with the idea of a bread and but­ter pud­ding choco­late.

‘‘My feel­ing is that choco­late is savoury, it’s not sweet. We’ve all grown up with sweet choco­late but if you add other things to the choco­late and it’s not so sweet, you can get away with all sorts of things,’’ he said.

The cot­tage was once the orig­i­nal Grey­town con­fec­tion­ers shop.

Prior to that, Lang­ham penned two books about choco­late ther­apy, which helped him un­der­stand how peo­ple re­lated to choco­late.

‘‘I like what choco­late does to peo­ple … It re­laxes you and makes you feel good.’’

Lang­ham said he and the three other choco­latiers hand-tem­pered the choco­late at three dif­fer­ent tem­per­a­tures to get it just right. ‘‘You could never put what we do in a ma­chine, in a pro­duc­tion line, be­cause you’d just get a stuff up.

‘‘When you’ve got fac­to­ries, with lots of con­veyer belts and other ma­chines, some of the soul is taken away from the choco­late, I be­lieve.

‘‘Even by stir­ring the choco­late, you are put­ting your en­ergy into the choco­late so there­fore it gives it a soul.

‘‘You can’t get that with huge com­pa­nies and I like the fact that we are very small and we make a lim­ited amount of choco­late, but we do it with pas­sion,’’ Lang­ham said.

That pas­sion led him to open a store in Welling­ton in 2014, tak­ing his staff count to 12.

The next step for the busi­ness was to set up shop Auck­land, while also look­ing at op­por­tu­ni­ties over­seas.

Lang­ham said he was con­sid­er­ing ex­port­ing his choco­lates to China.

‘‘We used to ex­port a bit in Aus­tralia … but it got too dif­fi­cult be­cause we didn’t do enough of it.

‘‘We are not big enough really. We could work ex­tra time, work another shift, work on the week­ends, but they wanted a con­tainer and we couldn’t do that.’’

MAARTEN HOLL/FAIR­FAX NZ

Schoc Choco­lates owner Mur­ray Lang­ham says his favourite choco­late flavour is apri­cot and rose­mary.

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