CHOCOLATE CHANGED OUR LIFE
We both worked as researchers at a confectionery company in Japan for about 10 years. Taka had developed new products as typified by Melty Kiss. The number of products he developed and brought out has climbed up to 40 in 5 years. Of course it goes without saying that he had forgotten the passage of time and kept working day after day to develop and produce hundreds of products. It is extremely important for him to promote an innovative food culture through developing new products. Eating itself is not just to satisfy one’s appetite. Foods with beautiful colors, elegant fragrance and delicious texture satisfy not only the appetite but also the mind. Chocolate is one of the foods that delight all senses with its different qualities: beautiful color, fragrance, and unique texture, and it is the product that Taka aims to reinvent in order to make the consumer experience even more memorable. Although he has worked with chocolate for over 10 years, he can still uncover new aspects of it. For example, our signature green tea chocolate is very different from traditional chocolate with its beautiful green color, rich taste with umami and bitterness, and smooth texture. Chocolate is a luxurious product with great potential, and we would like customers to discover and enjoy its many exciting facets.
On the other hand, Kayoko had not only developed new products but also researched “Cacao” that is the foundation of chocolate at its origin. Cacao beans grow mostly in the countries between N20°and S20°. Once they have been cropped, and then fermented, dried, and roasted, they are transformed into chocolate with its characteristic flavor and aroma. Kayoko had researched the best method of fermentation of cocoa beans, the best method of roasting them to extract the special aroma of chocolate, and so on. She had tasted thousands kinds of chocolates of different origins, fermentation, roasting methods, and so on. She knew how interesting and attractive chocolate was because they had various kinds of facets that varied depends even on a tiny condition. That experience drew her into the Chocolate world. Against this background, the experience of visiting a cacao farm changed her perspective. People living in the countries where cacao beans are cultivated face challenging economic circumstances and most have not tried chocolate. She was very impressed to see the way in which they truly care about cacao beans. Living in developed countries, we can freely buy and eat chocolate, unaware of how producers of cacao beans put in extreme effort and base their livelihoods on this product. She wanted and thought it was her duty to convey this fact to the public. Admittedly we had lived in great comfort thanks to the benefits of working for a big company. But we chose to challenge our life instead.