~CHOCOLATE IS NOT JUST ABOUT taste~
I have just started working at Max Brenner and was so excited after reading the website. It seemed so artistic and quirky. It felt like somewhere I could see myself working.
This is Max Brenner's About Us spiel.
"When meeting someone for the first time, I am asked how I actually started out making chocolate. I usually tell them that when I was 10 years old I read “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and I swore that one day I would find a river of chocolate and sail in it. I also tell them about Anna, who was my first love and who could not fall asleep without eating a piece of milk chocolate before going to bed, because otherwise she would have bad dreams. But the truth is that I wanted to be a writer. One who gets up at noon, sits in cafés, writes until the following morning and devotes a book to an impossible, eternal love."
At the age of twenty, I thought that in order to get inspiration for my novel I needed to be alone. I needed to walk in narrow streets, sit in a dark room with a candle, feel the longing and write. I went to live and work in the seventh arrondissement in Paris with a French chef who looked like Grandpa Geppetto. I was an apprentice for six years. He taught me how to make toffee, marzipan and nougat and told me stories that are only passed on from teacher to pupil. I was lonely but did not write.
Later, I started searching for romance to get inspiration. I wanted to live in a small house, ride my bicycle to work, make colourful sweets in big jars and write. I opened a chocolate workshop. People fell in love with the magical romance that was my reality, yet I was making so many sweets that I had no time left to write.
Then I wanted to experience decadence to get real, raging inspiration, like the one in biographies of great writers. I wanted to wear Versace suits with tight pants, drink lots of wine, so my eyes would shine, fall in love with the prettiest women and write. I designed and created a lifestyle of chocolate with its own saying; I dived into decadence, but most of the time I was drunk and did not write.
More than ten years have passed since I started looking for inspiration for my writing. I have yet to start writing. Recently, I bought a special feather pen and a thick leather-covered notebook. Soon, I will start writing a novel. I have been making chocolate for more than ten years. Almost without noticing it, I find myself telling its story.
Maybe through telling the story of chocolate, I can also tell something about myself, something about longing, romance and decadence.
I invite you to watch, smell, taste and feel my love story".
"It's not only about mixing exotic spices or creating delicate mousses. Chocolate, more than any other food, is integrated into many aspects of our lives. It is a symbol of contradicting emotions and sensations. On one hand, it is the most romantic gift, on the other, it is a commodity which is traded on the stock exchange. It is sold like a prestigious piece of jewelry carefully selected from a glass case but also as an addictive snack available at every corner store. Chocolate can be savoured like fine wine and yet, it can also be licked hungrily straight from your fingers. It is sexy, nostalgic, and forever an object of fantasy for children and grownup children. These diverse, contradicting chocolate associations are the inspiration behind Max Brenner's chocolate culture."
Even Max's history reads like a fairytale-
Max Brenner was founded in Israel in 1995. Max, the bald man, at the age of 28 already had a long and rich background in the specialised “world of confectionary”. For seven years, he worked as an apprentice to world-renowned experts in baking, sweets and marzipan making, before choosing to specialise in chocolate. He worked in various places in Europe, including Germany, Austria and France. Through the years of working as an apprentice, his masters such as Michel Chaudun & George Maushagen passed their secrets to Max.
When Max returned to Israel, he opened a small store in a secluded alleyway. Next door to his store was his chocolate “factory” where Max began to create his dream, with the aid of a small mixer and a number of simple kitchen tools. Max did not intend to establish a large-scale business. He wanted to produce his own chocolate in his own place, to design and serve it according to the best traditions, while adding his personal touches and his passion for art; both classic & contemporary.
This first store attracted a lot of attention. Food critics hailed its opening as “a revolution in the chocolate industry” in Israel. Max exposed people to a magical world only read about in fairy tales, and allowed them to experience chocolate with all their senses.
Max aspired to take chocolate to a whole new level. In time, the idea of creating “a chocolate culture” developed; A culture, which would acquaint people with the entire story of chocolate, reveal ancient secrets, and revitalize traditions that had been lost over the years. Max Brenner converted chocolate from a mere sweet candy to an array of experiences that touch upon every aspect of life. For the first time people had the chance to experience all the virtues, qualities and associations of chocolate to the Max.
Max Brenner’s line of products allow each individual to experience the flavours and aromas of a variety of specially spiced hot chocolate drinks made from cocoa beans imported from various exotic places in the world.
To enhance the experience, a special ceremony for chocolate drinking was created. Max’s set of innovative & specially designed, stylish utensils allow one to truly experience the depth of each chocolate drink.
Max Brenner’s secret, beyond the quality of the products, resides in the unique character of the company which combines romance, nostalgia, and a childlike, provocative spirit together with a special emphasis on a warm, personal connection with its customers and excellent service.
Early 2000, Max Brenner presented his line of products and his concept of chocolate culture at one of the most important gourmet food exhibitions, the Fancy Food Show, in San Francisco, California.
The reactions were inspiring. People were stunned at the way Max harnessed his knowledge on the subject of cocoa and chocolate to create the quality and outstanding design of his line of products. As a result of the promising reactions at this show, in July 2000, Max Brenner opened in Australia and The Chocolate Bar concept was born: a temple for chocolate lovers, a place to indulge in childhood chocolate fantasies and fully experience Max Brenner's unique chocolate culture.
Max also began to work with prestigious companies around the world such as the Dean and Delucca chain stores, British Airways Corporation, the Club Monaco chain and many others. Max also introduced the shoppers at Harrods, one of the world’s most prestigious department stores in London, to his new chocolate bar concept.
Over the years, Max Brenner as a company underwent a number of significant changes. In 2001, Strauss- Elite, one of the largest food corporations in Israel, acquired the brand adding the professional management skills, operational production abilities and financial strength required to support Max’s desire for global growth.
In 2006 Max Brenner penetrated the US market with the opening of his flagship chocolate bar in the heart of New York. Currently Max Brenner has more than 20 Chocolate Bars operating worldwide, spreading the passion for chocolate far & beyond.
Max's ultimate dream is, one day, to create his own chocolate bald man city."