Who doesn’t love chocolate? Whether it’s a sneaky snack or a full blown pig out session, we all have a certain weakness when it comes to this delicious treat. We were lucky enough to discover this artistic brand at The Finders Keepers Market this July. Wawa Chocolatier was born from a simple dream and love of local produce, in a home kitchen in Melbourne. After tasting a few (ok a lot) of samples we just had to find out more from owner and master chocolatier Jade.
Tell us about Wawa Chocolatier, where did it all begin and what was your vision?
It all began as a creative monkey on my back that I just couldn't shake! I was working in various office admin jobs while dreaming of creating something beautiful and yummy, something ethical and kind that drew a consumer based on that quality while quietly doing a little bit of good in the world. I thought it would just be a weekend hobbie but it quickly grew into more of a full time affair. Now my vision is to continue to grow so I can do a bit more for the community with Wawa. I have so many ideas but when you run a small business on your own it sometime feels like you're getting nowhere fast but I am learning more and more each year and I'm slowly getting better at what I do. I am excited about the direction I am headed even though sometimes I don't quite know how I am going to get there!
You personally hand make all of your products, what is your favourite part of the chocolate making process?
My favourite parts are the concept stages of a new flavour and of course working with cocoa butter colours. Every Easter I get my paint brushes out and do a range of hand-painted Eggs. When I am in the kitchen with all my pots of colour with my music turned up to 11 I have to pinch myself! Those are my favourite days. But they are not my everyday and my own enjoyment isn't enough to justify what I do so I also get excited when I can see Wawa doing good for others. I hope to focus more on this this year. I have actually just handed off some of my making to a couple of incredibly talented young Mum's who are able to work around their family commitments while still ensuring some income capacity for themselves. That makes me pretty bloody happy too.
Most of your ingredients and packaging are sourced from local makers, what importance do you place on supporting local and why?
Because the local producers/maker I work with are talented, passionate, humble and honest and that is so important to me. I want them to have my money. The people who produce the ingredients I use inspire me to do what I do. I get a lot of motivation from the amazing people I work with. Mainly I use Wawa as an excuse to have conversations with other food producers creatives that I admire. I am a bit of a creep like that.... The care I take in selecting my ingredients also influences the kind of consumers Wawa attracts. They too are like minded and care about supporting local. This means that end-to-end I am working with and for the kinds of people I admire.
How do you create your unique flavour combinations and which is your favourite?
Oh thats like being asked to choose a favourite child! If I don't totally love a combination that I come up with I don't go with it. The measure for me is "could I repeatedly smash a block of this on the couch on a semi regular basis?" If the answer is yes then it's in. Creating the flavours starts with an ingredient. Something I find that is yummy and comes from a good place. If I find something like that I will try and make it work in a chocolate bar.
What is next for Wawa Chocolatier?
I've just come off the back of a tough 12 months so I feel like Wawa has been hibernating quietly, waiting for me to get my sh*t back together. I can finally say I am ready to take on some new challenges and that's the best feeling! Whats next? New flavours, beautiful new designs by Assembly Design and hopefully more contribution to our diverse community.
Even if you can’t buy happiness, you can buy chocolate and that’s kind of the same thing right? To purchase your happiness, otherwise known as Wawa chocolate, click here