The Chocolate Cult: Meet the Woman behind Dateolate

Friday, June 3, 2022

Meet the Woman behind Dateolate

Roya Javaherchi, Dateolate
Sister and Brother Chocolate Lovers, help me welcome Roya Javaherchi from Sweet Saffron LLC to our blog together. I asked her some questions about her Dateolate confections that I hope you will enjoy and find educational. Thank you, Roya, for talking with me.

Let's begin with you. 

Would you describe yourself as a chocolate lover? If so, what type of chocolate (dark, semi-sweet, bittersweet, milk, or white) is your favorite?

Yes, I can name may self chocolate lover. I love chocolate, I remember while I was studying food science during my bachelor’s degree, I used to take all the courses related to chocolate. Even some of the courses were not mandatory and was as optional course but I used to take them all.

My favorite type of chocolate is dark and semi-sweet.

How long have you been working with chocolate? 

While I was student at university I used to work in a company as intern that they produced some fillers for chocolates and then after graduation I officially started a position in company relate to chocolate industry. Technically I can say I have been working with chocolate since 2000. However, besides working in food industry, I also studied accounting to learn numbers because I always wanted to be entrepreneur in chocolate filed. For that purpose, I learned accounting to know the numbers in business.

What is Sweet Saffron LLC and how is it related to Dateolate?

Sweet Saffron LLC is the company name and Dateolate is the chocolate brand of the company.

The Dateolate confections, which I loved by the way, seem similar to but are not marzipan. Were you inspired by another type of chocolate or candy when you came up with the recipe for Dateolate?

Actually I came up with this idea because back home we always used to have Dates in our home as a sweet treat even for our guests. The reason for always having dates at home is because my mom is diabetics and as you might know Dates are the best substitute for the people who have sweet tooth but are concerned about the refined and processed sugar. Dates sugar is natural and the best for diabetics because it has low glycemic index. According to research from multiple studies, the average glycemic index of dates is 42. This classifies them as a low GI food and safe for those with diabetes when eaten in moderation. Article Link 

Also, as I mentioned above, I am a chocolate lover, so I always thought if I combine these two - Dates and Chocolate - then we can solve the problem for people who have sweet tooth and also love chocolate but they are concerned about having chocolate . That is how dateolate born.

One of the features of the product you sent us to test is the low calories, 100 per 3 pieces. How long did it take you to figure out the amount of each type of nut, date, and chocolate to use for the Dateolate to get the calorie point you wanted but still create what I think is a delicious treat?

Another factor that was so important to me beside the natural sugar was the calorie.  So, while I was working on the recipe, I have decided to produce date paste in our commercial kitchen. Although there are many kinds out there, but I wanted to make sure the best Medjool dates have been used in our paste because some dates are so sweet and not suitable. Also, there is no added sugar in the date paste, or any other additives and preservatives. Technically the filling of the chocolate is all natural. 

Then we send our product receipt to the food lab here is California for analyzing and testing to make sure the level of the calorie is not high. Yes 3 of our chocolate has 100 calories. Technically in each piece half a date have been used with mixing of nuts with no other additives, preservatives and sugar. 

You also make Dateolate with white chocolate. That must radically change the flavor and the caloric value. Why did you pick dark and white chocolate instead of milk chocolate for the Dateolate?

The reason that I did not choose Milk because of the level of sugar and sweetness. 
Milk chocolate is sweeter than dark chocolate.  Therefore, the level of sweetness would be so high if we combined milk chocolate and dates. 

However, white chocolate has the vanilla flavor, so it makes a great taste, and the sweetness is reasonable.

For example, I myself use one piece of dark dateolate every day around 10 AM, because at this time of the day I need something to boost my energy and dates are the best. Also because I am a chocolate lover so I can satisfy my chocolate craving too.

After lunch, most of the people get tiredness and need something to get their energy back to be able to continue and get focused on their work , for me instead of having some artificial sweeteners, I have dark dateolate around 2:30 PM with my tea every afternoon.

I am using white dateolate , when we have our friendly gathering and we want to serve something as sweet treat.

Technically dark dateolate can be used as routine daily chocolate without worrying about sugar rush and then white one can be served as sweet treat in family and friendly gathering but again depends on the taste.

The box the Dateolate came in is beautiful and the confections are beautiful. However, when I was testing, particularly my assistants, were confused by the different shapes and colors. Usually, a chocolate or candy box uses shape and color to denote different flavors. All of the pieces in the box were identical inside. Why did you make the unusual choice to have the same product but in different designs in one box?

As you well mentioned, other candy boxes use shapes and color to denote different flavors. However, we are just focused on dates and health of the product. Technically we do not want to use any colored cocoa butter to have colorful candy box. On the other hand, we need to satisfy customers to get the beautiful design chocolate. That’s why different design molds have been used to make a dateolate box.

We both were at the 4th Annual Cacao & Chocolate Summit in the late Spring of 2022, so let's talk about a few issues that were brought up there. Have you had problems getting ingredients for the Dateolate?

First that was my pleasure to see you at the 4th Annual Cacao & Chocolate Summit. Regarding the ingredients, we have some difficulty in finding 100% dark high quality couverture chocolate. 

Has the global pandemic impacted your business in any other negative or positive ways?

Actually prices for raw materials got increased a lot, due to shortage of paper, we had some challenges for our packaging.

Finally, where do you hope Dateolate will be in five or ten years? Do you have hopes to expand products or sales?

We love our Dateolate, per our customers feedback they love Dateolate too .it has such a positive influence on peoples, their lifestyles and health. Dateolate is perfect for health conscience people - we'd like to share Dateolate with more people.

Readers, please take the time to thank Roya for speaking with me so we could share this interview today. Come back tomorrow and read our feature about Dateolate.


Anonymous said...

I am so proud of you Roya! I know it mustn’t have been easy, but you managed to do a great job! Keep up the momentum!

The Chocolate Priestess said...

You are correct, Shadan. Small business chocolate has always been a tough business and the pandemic only made that harder. Thanks for reading and commenting. I hope you check out our other interviews and posts here on The Chocolate Cult.

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