We’ve been around for 10 years, why haven’t you heard about us? Well for one, I was pretty much a no-body in the chocolate industry, Im not French or Belgian, I also didn’t have an apprenticeship for 20 years, and I went to B school for Finance… yeah, lol; but I did know one thing. I love food, my family loves food, and we love making, experimenting, and creating foods. Cooking in our house can be as simple as making a Sunday sandwich to a complex laboratory session to create fresh pasta dough that requires no eggs (we’re vegetarian). We love it all! It was chocolate though that really got me thinking.
I have family that I’m close to from India, Belgium, Japan, and Hong Kong, and that meant every time they visited we’d have incredible chocolates from all around the globe. Our pantry had a constant supply of chocolate. My dad was and still is a chocolate fiend, my mom makes desserts and wedding cakes as a form of meditation, and I just loved watching everyones reaction when they ate a piece of GOOD chocolate. I’d see how happy/proud my mom got when everyone drooled over her desserts, and couldn’t wait till my uncles and aunts came over with treats from Europe and Asia. Subconsciously, this was spark that fueled my love for creating chocolates.
I started Xocolatti a year out of college in 2010. It all came down to a serendipitous set of circumstances that pushed me into chocolate making. I honestly had no exciting job prospects in the finance world, I absolutely did not want to join my family’s jewelry business, and I secretly just wanted to follow my mother’s footsteps into culinary world, so I did. My mom taught me how to make chocolate; tempering, making ganaches, the whole nine yards. We made our first chocolate collection with the introduction of our sake and passionfruit truffles. We got rave reviews from friends and family, and with that foundation we launched our flagship store in 2012.
Our first itineration: Retail
Our 150 sqft store in Soho NY was like none other. The walls were lined top to bottom with our chocolate boxes, and anytime a customer entered they would be able to interact with the walls and pick out the chocolates they wanted. People used to say it was like Olivanders from Harry Potter, or a bank vault. We had a store and we were on the cover of an architecture magazine! We felt like a real company. As incredible and fun as having a store was, selling purely chocolate in the most expensive area of NYC quickly turned out to be a tough hurdle in running a business. By 2015 we began focusing our award winning chocolates to selling into different channels.
Second itineration: Hospitality
By fluke, in 2015 a General Manager of a luxury hotel in Palm Beach happened to walk by our store and decided to check it out. That meeting changed everything, two months later we were selling 2pc truffle boxes to The Breakers Palm Beach Hotel and we had officially evolved into a hospitality chocolatier. From 2015 - 2019 my wife and I became experts at cold calling, and quickly developed creative ways to offer our chocolates within the hospitality market. Almost on demand we’d create new recipes, new chocolates, and designed packaging to woo general managers at hotels in the U.S. Slowly we grew our company to supply our unique chocolates as custom offerings to boutique hotels, luxury hotel chains, and a handful of trendy cocktail lounges, restaurants across the U.S. Then the pandemic hit.
Present Itineration: Ecommerce
Everyone stopped traveling, hotels shut down, and we lost 80% of our business overnight. It was terrifying. All the effort we put into growing our company was gone, we had to start from scratch much like so many entrepreneurs across the globe. They say everything has a silver lining, covid was the catalyst for our long postponed push into E-commerce. In 2020 we had a baby, we studied, we took courses in marketing, coding and web design: finally a year later launched our self made website. Shipping came with its own set of challenges so we re-did our chocolates and developed new packaging that was ship stable and compostable. We’re treating this itineration as a new company and since it's 2022, we’re slowing coming out of our shy bubble and creating awkward Tik-tok’s, and videos for Instagram. We can’t wait for you to try these chocolates. Its the culmination of all the experience and family brainstorm sessions that make our chocolates so unique and comforting.