I hope that your weekend is going well. Those who follow my personal Instagram (followgram.me/busichic) will have seen images from the day I spent yesterday on Maling Road, Canterbury at the invitation of clever Pybus PR. A bunch of independent media, “bloggers”, had the opportunity to visit and experience this shopping strip in one of Melbourne’s most charming suburbs. I had my eye out for BusiChic things; more on that in future posts!
Today I’d like to share with you, photos and words from the surprise package for me which was, Xocolatl Cafe. Pronounced sho ko la tl ~ Chris Partsioglou has been running his chocolate shop out of Maling Road for eight years. We had the opportunity to take part in a chocolate masterclass run by Chris and his daughter Tina who studied Food Science and brought that knowledge back to the family business. Chris’ eldest daughter Maddy is Xocolatl’s Marketing Manager.
I learnt things about chocolate that I’d no idea about previously:
- The term “couverture” means that the chocolate must have 32-39% cocoa butter which gives quality chocolate its low melting point and shine.
- Like with grapes, the flavour of cocoa beans is influenced by terroir. Chocolate from around the world, from different regions within the same country, should taste different as the flavour of the beans is determined by the soil, weather and conditions in that plantation in that year. As someone who has obviously consumed far too much mass-produced chocolate, this was a real revelation!
- Ok not necessarily only relating to chocolate: it costs $30 to get something fumigated at the airport. Tina brought back cocoa pods from an overseas trips and was able to get two pods fumigated (i.e. made safe to be brought into Oz) for $30. Do let me know if this information comes in useful!
Back to the Xocolatl chocolates themselves which are DELICIOUS! And I can say that because I used to work in a chocolate factory and am fussy when it comes to chocolate. Seriously, I think that there is nothing worse than eating bad chocolate. But Xocolatl is GOOD – just the thing you want to be seen giving as gifts in that it-shows-you-know-quality kind of good. The Partsioglous also create their own flavours like the GORGONZOLA AND MANGO chocolate which had the mouth-feel and flavours of a gourmet cheese cake (image below). Amazing, I want another one now!
But onto the Partsioglous. An artist himself (that’s Chris’ painting in the above image), who pursues his interest in chocolate with gusto and now goes on international trips to further his knowledge of industry developments, Chris is a gent who is obviously pursuing his passions at the edge of his capabilities. The thing that struck me most however, was the rapport that Chris had with his daughters/colleagues.
In a month where the Prime Minister of this country has had to assert herself to get some respect in her own workplace, I found it pretty inspiring to see how Chris works with his daughters. He knows a lot but he deferred the floor to his daughters so that they could shine in sharing their own knowledge. He praised their strengths, Tina’s talent for making quality jellies; Maddy for her drive getting product packaging right before they can start shipping a new type of bar to customers. He values their opinion, talking about the chocolate combinations that he thought would be a good idea but which as a family they realise, didn’t work so well. Chris is a golden example of an awesome boss/collaborator/colleague only being a dad, he comes with complete with Dad jokes!
At the risk of bragging, I’m lucky enough to have an awesome Dad who Chris happens to remind me of. I want to make sure that I take Dad over to Xocolatl Cafe because I reckon these cheeky buggers would get along like a house on fire!
Xocolatl cafe is at 123 Maling Road, Canterbury, VIC (03) 9836 3100
There is also a store in Kew, visit the Xocolatl website for more information.
Do you have awesome colleagues? What makes them good to work with? How do you let your colleagues shine?