This post is part of a 5 part series on Vere chocolate. To get the most out of this series, start on Part I.
Part IV: About Kathy
How much chocolate do you eat? Do you eat chocolate all the time?
Yes! The thing is, I was never a sweets person. I love flavor. I love things like salt and vinegar and all that but I really don’t like sweet. I say to my husband, “It’s a good thing we make chocolate, because otherwise I wouldn’t be able to eat any.”
I did eat chocolate before this. I would eat La Maison Du Chocolat – their darkest chocolate. But, now that we make chocolate, I have quite a bit of chocolate every day. I found that I really need it every day now.
Do you only eat your own chocolate?
Exactly – since we made it to my tastes. You tweak it and it suits you, so it’s nice to be on the receiving end. When you make something and you become really familiar with it and make it a lot of times, you can taste subtle differences that other people don’t in terms of appreciating or not appreciating something. It’s like you look for different things.
What do you look for when taste a piece of chocolate?
I look for not tasting sweet first. I think if you taste the sweet first you are already probably missing out on some of the other subtler flavor profiles. Chocolate is like wine – if you added sugar to any wine, even a wine that was naturally sweet, you would taste less of that wine than you would ordinarily.
I also try to taste whether it’s fruity or does it have more of a tobaccoy, earthy, or a different flavor to it. Then, the texture. I hate dry chocolate. I really hate dry chocolate, so if a chocolate is dry, right there it goes against me. It has to have a nice consistency when it melts – not be grainy, have a kind of luscious quality to it, and make your mouth water as you’re letting it melt.
When you are not making chocolate, what are your hobbies?
Starting a new business is like having a baby, you pretty much don’t have time for anything else. But, my loves are visual things. I love looking at art and looking at fashion. I love shopping with my eyes and I love movies and eating.
I really have through this come to appreciate food in such a new way. I think when you are in the food business it’s in a way very humbling. You start to really understand how much goes into something that’s really artisinal. You really start to appreciate the farmers and what they do – how hard their lot is and everything that it takes to bring something to you in a natural form.
Then, the food business itself. So many of the buyers in the food stores work so hard. When I go to call buyers, some of them will say you can reach them tomorrow at 6 am and this is on the weekends. They also might have a late shift. If you want to call, you need to call at 11 at night. It’s a hard business.
How does being a visual person come into play when you are designing the packaging?
A lot. I appreciate what Erika does. She does these incredible caramels. Each of them is hand decorated. There is somebody there putting little lavender pieces on top or cacao nibs or whatever. They are like these little works of art.
If you look at the rest of our line [the packaging] is very classic and so much of my background comes into play. I love that part! I love to get to play with the packaging and those ideas.
Even the bags you are giving away are so cute!
I know. Whenever I get too stressed out, I think, I’m going to make some bags. It’s just so therapeutic. I feel like so much of our food is packaged. Unpacked food is so luscious and beautiful. You want the package to at least kind of represent what you hope your product is or is going to taste like or stands for. It would be like if you had to hide your beautiful cupcakes in a box and you couldn’t see them. You’d want the box to evoke the deliciousness of the cupcakes and the whimsy or whatever you are putting into that particular one.
If you were Bride 2.0, what would your cupcake choice be?
My cupcake choice would probably be like the cayenne and cacao nibs bar – a spicy chocolate cupcake with a chocolate frosting. That’s probably what I would love.
Yes! And the frosting wouldn’t be spicy, but the cupcake itself would have the chipotle chili. It would be spicy.
It’s been so much fun talking to you. Thanks so much for your time and your chocolate. On behalf of all of my readers, we appreciate it so vere much!