Many of us enjoy a chocolatey treat every now and again, but for Jade Anderson, chocolate’s a way of life. Based on the belief that good food makes people happy, Jade founded Wawa Chocolatier, an artisan chocolate business that has quickly become a rising star on Melbourne’s foodie scene.
If you head down to Victoria Harbour from 10th February, you’ll find Wawa’s brand new chocolate shop near Library at The Dock, where you can taste and buy Jade’s delicious hand-made fare. You’ll also find Jade at work, tempering, moulding and even painting chocolate, creating unusual flavour combinations to inspire and delight. If she’s not there, she’ll be out and about, sourcing the finest ingredients from across Victoria.
Jade knows more than most when it comes to choosing high quality produce. Having grown up in Western Australia (hence the name, Wawa), Jade was originally a farmer by trade. She moved to Melbourne eight years ago for a change of scene, but found her horticultural skills didn’t translate to inner-city life. Despite setting out to learn to decorate wedding cakes, chocolate-making quickly captured Jade’s imagination, and two years ago she started Wawa.
We caught up with Jade to find out more about Wawa, the genius behind her flavour combos, and why she decided to set up shop in Victoria Harbour.
“Wawa is all about the craft of creating deluxe chocolate that uses real ingredients, fair chocolate and fun flavours,” Jade says. “Given my farming experience, I’m committed to sourcing all of the ingredients we use from organisations that demonstrate high-quality horticultural practices and pay their workers fairly, all the way down the production line.”
“I have such respect for the process of growing food, and I pride myself on producing chocolate that reflects that. While many chocolate-makers use machines to temper chocolate, I do it all by hand on marble slabs,” Jade says.
“Chocolate making is a great outlet for my creativity too, as chocolate is surprisingly versatile. While I love making chocolate bars and devising new flavours, I get to be most creative when it comes to making seasonal products. For Valentine’s Day I’ll be making anatomically accurate shaped chocolate hearts, and at Easter I hand-paint Easter eggs.”
Anatomically accurate or not, it all sounds delicious to us! But with more than 8 different flavour combinations to choose from, it might be difficult to pick just one. So what does the expert recommend?
“My personal favourite is the lavender honeycomb and cocoa nib bar, made with milk chocolate. It’s so moreish! That’s my benchmark whenever I set out to make a chocolate bar: ‘would I crave this?’ If the answer’s no, it’s back to the drawing board!”
Wawa Chocolatier opens on 10th February 2017 and can be found next to Knowledge Market, opposite Library at The Dock in Victoria Harbour. Call in to Jade’s new store and say hello, taste-test Wawa’s selection of hand-crafted chocolates, and learn more about the art of chocolate-making. Wawa also has an online store where you can buy the full range of flavour combinations.
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