Chocolatier puts heart, soul into treats
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.’’
Schoc Chocolates owner Murray Langham says his favourite chocolate flavour is apricot and rosemary.