Swiss chocolatier Läderach is spreading its sweet love across Florida, and we couldn’t be more excited. The family-owned Swiss chocolate company, acclaimed for its dedication to quality and excellence since 1962, has embarked on an ambitious brick-and-mortar expansion throughout America. Since debuting in Aventura Mall in June, the brand has opened eight more outposts in the Sunshine State. Aventura spoke with the third-generation talent behind the brand, Elias Läderach, who also happens to be the official reigning World Chocolate Master. Here, he shares everything you need to know about the Swiss bliss currently overtaking Florida.
AVM: How do you maintain the standard of excellence for Läderach chocolate?
Läderach: We are involved in every stage of the product process, from farming to the finished product. Across the world, we know the very farmers who are growing our cacao beans. In Ghana, for example, we employ four entire villages to grow our beans. After harvesting and drying, the beans arrive in sacks at our factory in Bilten, Switzerland, where we create our chocolate. Our 100 varieties of chocolate and other items are then finalized in our second factory, packaged, and shipped to our 100-plus retail stores worldwide.
What makes Läderach chocolate so good?
Of course, our recipes are key but so are the quality of our ingredients and the freshness of our chocolate. We even strive for greatness within our secondary products. For example, we use hazelnuts only from Piedmont, Italy, which we consider the best of the best.
As the reigning World Chocolate Master, could you tell us if there’s a proper methodology for appreciating or evaluating chocolate?
The best way is to approach it with all five senses. Start by eating with your eyes. Ask yourself, “How does it look?” Second, investigate how it feels. A good chocolate should be between soft and hard to the touch and shouldn’t melt too fast. Next, listen to the chocolate. It should create a crisp snap when broken apart. Then, smell the chocolate. A strong aroma is a sign of freshness. Finally, taste it and think about the different flavors as they hit your palate.
How have you merged your family business with your title as World Chocolate Master?
As part of the competition among the world’s top chocolatiers, we must complete several challenges, including creating our own pralines (bonbons) and chocolate bars (tablets). I decided to offer two of my winning recipes as an in-store exclusive called the “Masters Collection.” This box carries six chocolate bonbons, layered with mandarin coulis, milk and chocolate ganache, and a crunchy finish, and a dark chocolate Or Noir Tablet, laced with a caramel and tropical fruit filling.
With so much shopping online these days, what is a highlight of enjoying an in-store experience?
Each store has a dedicated FrischSchoggi counter, where extra-large tablets of fresh chocolate are displayed with fillings like nuts and berries folded in. Shoppers can get a piece of fresh chocolate bark, big or small, choosing from over 20 varieties at the counter.
What’s your favorite Läderach treat?
It depends on my mood. When I travel and miss home, I’m craving FrischSchoggi Hazelnut Milk. But when I am home, I crave complexity and go for the single-origin dark chocolates, specifically the 64 percent Madagascar. I love fruit notes in chocolate, and this one has so many nuances of fruitiness.
What are some items to look forward to this holiday season?
We always have seasonal items in our stores. For the holidays, expect limited-time flavors like FrischSchoggi Gingerbread Milk as well as a limited-edition FrischSchoggi advent calendar.