Dear friends of chocolate, dear TammyJo. I am very pleased to be invited to introduce myself. Thank you. My name is Andreas Mohrs. I am 41 years old, and I am the founder and owner of the chocolate company, Chocion. I live in the wonderful city of Munich in southern Germany, at the base of the Bavarian Alps. My company is also situated there. For Chocion, I manage the entire company and I develop new products and creations continuously. In addition to chocolate, I am very enthusiastic about flying and magic.
How did you get into the chocolate business?
For a number of years I have traveled the world as a pilot for the largest German airline, enabling me to explore many different cultures. I have learned that in addition to many fascinating differences, there are also many interesting similarities among the peoples of the world.
One such similarity is the universal love of chocolate. During my international travels I have discovered chocolate creations around the globe. Approximately five years ago, I noticed a special drinking chocolate in Vienna, Austria. I was served a glass of hot milk along with a piece of chocolate on a stick. This piece of chocolate was immersed into the hot milk, and after a brief moment, I was able to enjoy a delicious hot chocolate beverage. This experience served as the inspiration for the now famous Chocion hot chocolate spoon.
This is how it all began. We combine a top quality collectible spoon with one of the very best chocolates to create an exciting package. What initially was intended to be treat for myself and my friends very quickly became the launch of a small and thriving chocolate business.
The opportunity to express my passion for chocolate by managing my own company, paired with superb chocolate products and excellent packaging, guarantee the quality associated with the brand name Chocion.
How many years has Chocion been crafting chocolate?
The official start of the business was November, 2011. Beforehand, it was merely a hobby.
Do you have a walk-in shop where customers can buy your creations or do you only do online sales and events?
As I am still a pilot, we don’t yet have our own shop but this is being planned and the concept is ready. We sell our chocolate to a number of businesses -- for instance, for their marketing and advertising, and as products exclusively for special businesses, such as wine truffle chocolates and pralines. We also sell our chocolate in fancy food stores in Germany and Austria, and we are present in regional shows and at Christmas markets. And, last, but not least, we offer our online shop where our customers can order our products. Starting several months ago, our Chocion hot chocolate spoons are now available in New York, which of course we are very proud of.
Different nations have chocolate identities so that we sometimes talk about French chocolate or Italian chocolate. What makes German chocolate unique in your opinion?
Some readers might be surprised to learn that Germany is the largest exporter of chocolate worldwide, even surpassing Belgium and France. This fact alone, of course, is not necessarily an indicator of quality. Nevertheless, I believe that Germany’s rigorous legal standards for food products play a certain role; Germany’s standards are frequently the requested standard.
Chocion’s chocolate is produced from very special cocoa beans, in strict compliance with the high quality standards I refer to. Our premium cocoa comes from a small region in Columbia known for its model farming practices. This area insists on fair trade practices for their farmers, with a keen sense of social responsibility. There is particular emphasis on training and development for the farmers, as well as education for the children. Child labor is certainly not permitted. Chocion makes every effort to conduct business in disadvantaged areas, promoting new opportunities and hope for the local people.
Chocion beans grow in a very fertile region, among bananas and fine carpentry-grade wood products; there is no monoculture. The cocoa beans are readied for transport in burlap bags, and then swiftly make their way to Germany by ship and then across land by truck.
Once the chocolate beans arrive in Germany, they are processed according to Germany’s strict standards and then “conched”, which includes a special polishing process. The additional ingredients come from local purveyors, such as luscious milk and cream from the Alps, ensuring the ideal Chocion flavor.
At Chocion, we do not use any artificial ingredients to preserve the chocolate. Alcohol is present in some of the chocolates. In addition to providing flavor, incorporating very small quantities of alcohol is a natural way to preserve the chocolate.
Whenever we use fresh cream from the Alps in our truffles, we add a dash of alcohol for preservation. Naturally, we have a lot of chocolates for which this is unnecessary – for example, in our marzipan and nougat pralines.
Many European customers really enjoy pralines with alcohol. We recently developed a new creation for a distillery – hazelnut schnapps in dark pralines and hazelnut crunch – true seductions!
Are there particular challenges when using alcohol when you are working with chocolate?
When working with chocolate and alcohol, is important to achieve a very subtle hint of alcohol flavor so that the chocolate flavor does not get lost. In fact, to get drunk, one would need to consume at least 6 kilograms of chocolate!
I personally love our mocha nougat pralines – The finest nougat is covered with dark chocolate. For decorative purposes, we sprinkle mocha powder on dark chocolate. Of course my first product is also my favorite product – the Chocion hot chocolate spoon with whole milk and a vanilla flavor.
Many products are developed in response to customer requests. We make every effort to satisfy even requests for relatively small custom orders. For example, some time ago we created both a wine truffle chocolate and a beer truffle chocolate. A winery in Portugal which produces very high-end port wine was looking for something very special. This is how our port wine pralines were developed. Our production facility is located in Bavaria, the region known all over the world for outstanding beer. This was the inspiration for our combining beer and chocolate.
What may seem unbelievable for many readers actually tastes wonderful. Even I was surprised! We certainly are very curious and open-minded, and search the entire world for clever new ideas. In virtually every city of the world you may find me in chocolate shops!
Chocion has an Organic Certificate Germany status. What exactly does that mean and how do you earn that?
As mentioned earlier, we at Chocion place a lot of emphasis on Fair Trade and organic growth, not only for the current generation of farmers but for future generations of farmers and their families. We stand behind this principle; it is not empty talk. Our practices are clearly documented and are essential to our corporate culture. We would like for all of our customers to know that we are committed to this. A certificate is our official proof.
Sound business practices, quality and taste belong together. We strive to make sure that everyone in the supply chain, from the farmer to the customer, benefits.
Finally, is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about Chocion?
There is a lot which I would like to share with you. Chocolate is one of the oldest and most time-honored passions of the world. There are, however, individuals who, for various reasons, are not able to indulge in the enjoyment of chocolate. For these people we are hard at work developing some equally delightful products. This is why Chocion developed, for example, a vegan chocolate with rice syrup (tastes like milk chocolate) for chocolate lovers who are lactose-intolerant. We also offer dark chocolate vegan and lactose free.
New for fall 2014 are our chocolate telegram, chocolate postcard and our chocolate puzzle. I would be delighted to introduce your readers to these products soon!
Please visit our new website pages starting in October of 2014, in addition to our Facebook page. We send our passion worldwide!
Many sincere thanks for sharing your passion for chocolate with Chocion, and for the courtesy of this interview.
Thank you, Andreas, for letting our readers learn more about you and Chocion. Sisters and Brothers please do leave comments below to let us know what you think about this interview today.