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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Millésime Chocolat : Artisanal Chocolate Factory from Belgium

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Millésime Chocolat is one of the few chocolate factories in Belgium that operates directly from cocoa beans, based in Liège, Belgium: “From the bean to the tablet,” often referred to as “Bean-to-Bar.” We are the only ones, from a particular region and geography, to exclusively manufacture vintage chocolate. Our policy is to work only on beans from special plantations and terroirs. We do not mix harvests, terroirs, or vintages. Our beans come from trees respecting the ancestral genetics of cocoa trees. There is no mixing of harvests, terroirs, or vintages. Our beans come from trees that honor the cocoa trees’ ancestral genetics.

Jean-Christophe HUBERT, passionate and educated in the world of artisanal chocolate, imagines the development of his own bean-roasting chocolate factory. He studied at the CIRAD Center for Agricultural Research in Montpellier for the Production of Sensory Analysis of the Expertise of Chocolate and Cocoa, and at the Fine Cacao and Chocolate Institute in New York.

Millésime Chocolat produce antique chocolate bearing the bean harvest date. The atmosphere, like the grape varieties or the terroir, affects the beans’ flavor characteristics from season to season. The harvests do not take place at the same time, depending on the country, depending on the climate, depending on the region. Almost all year round, cocoa trees grow near the equator. The further away we go, the more marked the harvest seasons. In the northern hemisphere, there are two harvest periods: the “big harvest” from October to February and the “small harvest” from March to June. In the southern hemisphere, it is exactly the opposite. For us, the vintage is a benchmark, because it allows us to judge the evolution of cocoa in relation to the local climatological conditions of the harvest year.
Very recently, Millésime Chocolat has joined Singapore Awards 2021 and won TWO GOLD Medal and a SILVER  Medal in this prestigious competition:
OUGANDA – Noir 75% – Rhum – 2019

Awarded Gold by Singapore Newspaper

These beans are harvested in Uganda in the Semuliki forest in Bundibugyo. The cocoa offers very cocoa notes as well as notes of dried fruits and red fruits, mixing in a slight bitterness. This cocoa is cultivated by 1000 local small farmers. The beans surprise with their delicate and aromatic taste.

OUGANDA – Noir 75% – Whisky – 2019

Awarded Gold by Singapore Newspaper

These beans are harvested in Uganda in the Semuliki forest in Bundibugyo. The cocoa offers very cocoa notes as well as notes of dried fruits and red fruits, mixing in a slight bitterness. This cocoa is cultivated by 1000 local small farmers. The beans surprise with their delicate and aromatic taste.

MADAGASCAR – Lacté 55% – YUZU | CRANBERRIES – 2019

Awarded Silver by Singapore Newspaper

Between sea and mountain, the Ambanja region is also known as the Sambirano Valley, from the name of the river that crosses it. Throughout its course towards the sea, the Sambirano is bordered by plantations of coffee, spices and perfume plants. These beans come from the Akesson plantation.

Interview of Mr. Endri Qehaja – Sales Manager

Question 1: Do you already export to Singapore ? If yes, where ? If no, what type of importers & distributors are you looking for in Singapore ?

After only 3 years of activity, we are already present in more than 12 countries. However, Singapore is a market where we are not yet present. We are looking for a distributor of either chocolate products, gourmet products (delicatessen) or organic products.

Question 2: What is the most unique and qualitative part of your products, different from competitors ?

Concerning our specificities :
– Craft product: We produce our chocolate from the cocoa bean. This means that we do not use industrial chocolate or chocolate produced by someone else. We create our own chocolate. (= bean-to-bar)
– Our chocolate is one of the most transparent on the market. On our packaging you can find the country and region of origin of each of our chocolates, the year in which the beans were harvested and even the variety of beans used for each chocolate. This is the same principle as for wine.
– Our product range is 100% organic.
– On a visual level, our packaging is different from what we are used to seeing. They are very attractive and appeal to our consumers.

Question 3: When did you start to export your brand worldwide, and what is your development plan for the next years ? 

Our company has existed since 2017 but we have been exporting since 2019. We have a strong presence in Europe and North America (USA + CANADA). In Asia, we are working with Japan but we would like to be present in new Asian countries and in the Middle East in the coming months/years. 

Importers & distributors what are you waiting for !

For more information about Millésime Chocolat please CLICK HERE:

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