Oct. 31, 2012 - Issue #889-Human Trafficking Problem
Good chocolate is always in style
JACEK Chocolate Couture redefines decadence
Wise words indeed from JACEK Chocolate Couture owner Jacqueline Jacek, who recently moved her artisan chocolate business from a 150 sq ft workshop in her basement to a 2100 sq ft boutique in Sherwood Park. Edmontonians, fear not, her indulgent creations are available at a variety of locations in the city as well, including Credo and the Old Strathcona Farmer's Market.
"Demand in Edmonton and Sherwood Park for fine artisan chocolate is growing and we just had a lot of success and found this gem of a little place—which was a bakery—and we renovated it to our tastes, which was a French couture style, so it was kind of a good timing thing for the business as well as finding the perfect location," Jacek says of the new space, which she and her team renovated in three months to compliment the style of her lavish work with sparkling chandeliers, Tiffany blue accents and fashion-inspired touches—including bust forms with chocolate jewelry.
Jacek, who has a background in business, has essentially created her dream job, combining her love of fine food—especially chocolate—fashion and art since opening JACEK Chocolate Couture in 2009. Jacek says she's always had an entrepreneurial streak, recalling her first business when she was 11 years old selling custom hats to classmates at school. However, a person doesn't just wake up one morning and decide they're going to be a chocolatier, and Jacek says this business is the result of a lengthy learning process, involving an 11 year stint in New Zealand where she became fascinated by the country's food scene.
"They have a massive fresh, creative food culture," notes Jacek, who only uses top-notch fresh ingredients to create her chocolates, including fair trade cocoa beans. "That's where my love of it came, so I did have the drive to create, but I really had to figure out what I wanted to do when I grew up."
Named one of the Top 10 Chocolatiers in North America by Dessert Professional Magazine, Jacek spent years studying and perfecting the craft of chocolate making, eventually getting her master chocolatier certification in Vancouver before returning to Edmonton. However, Jacek is no ordinary chocolatier, she's a cocoanista. What is that exactly? It's a term to describe the fusion of Jacek's love for fashion with her passion for chocolate. Jacek takes cues from the principles of haute couture, such as shape and colour, with the added advantage of the dimension of flavour.
"I look at designs and colour to build and create my pieces. I look at inspiration in everything I do," Jacek says, adding that educating customers about fine chocolate is another key focus of the business in addition to making delectable sweets.
Similar to a fashion designer, Jacek releases seasonal collections of chocolate four times a year, incorporating seasonal tastes and nuances to create a decadent experience for chocolate lovers. Jacek takes cues from the colours of the season as well, creating edible works of art.
Her current collection is Bijoux D'Hiver, an elegant assortment of jewel-inspired confections. Top quality chocolate is complimented with indulgent ingredients such as toasted cinnamon and maple ganache in Toasted Amber, caramelized milk chocolate with a hint of fresh chili pepper in Fire Opal and pomegranate and port are infused with dark chocolate for the Pom & Port Topaz. The luxurious collection is almost too beautiful to eat—almost being the key word.
JACEK Chocolate Couture
406 Kaska Road, Sherwood Park
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