Thursday, January 26, 2012

Schakolad – More Than Just Chocolate


I was fortunate enough to have grown up 45 minutes from one of the most famous chocolatiers in the world, Hershey’s. Due to the proximity, I learned about chocolate’s history…how it came from South America to Europe, how it was turned into a confection. I also learned how Milton Hershey, starting out in caramel, saw a future in chocolates - wanting to create a low cost, but delicious product that could be enjoyed and afforded by the masses.

At one point in time, chocolate was only available to a wealthier class and those who dealt in creating chocolate concoctions were artists and created high class delectables to match the clientele.

Where does Tom English’s Schakolad Chocolate Factory come into the equation in all of this?   Tom is the owner of Schakolad in Upper Arlington and he provides an affordable product with an aristocratic flair. You’ll feel like royalty when the hand crafted, creamy chocolate hits your palette.

This story, however, goes far beyond just the quality of the product. There is a really interesting story to be had here as well.

Tom English started out working in IT. After years of working in the technology industry, he decided that he wanted a change of pace. It just so happens that the previous owners actively served in the military and were very quickly called up and deployed to the Middle East. The quick deployment turned into a turnkey business for Tom and his family. Literally, the previous owners left everything as is, ready to be restarted. After purchasing the store, the new crew cleared out all of the old inventory, and started making fresh batches of truffles and ganaches and hung back out the open sign.
When you first enter the store, you’ll notice how neat and clean everything appears. Then your eye will be drawn to the display case, where you’ll find a wide selection of chocolates, just waiting to be consumed. I have to admit, I’ve tried quite a few and I have yet to run into one that I didn’t like. White, milk, dark chocolate….they have it all.
They can even do custom work. Have a special occasion and want something special made just for you? Schakolad can accommodate.



One more important detail….one of Schakolad’s slogans is “Made Fresh on Premises.” What does this mean to you? A fresh product. 100% of what you see is crafted and assembled fresh for you. There are very few items that are pre-made and shipped to the store. The Schakolad shop makes their products in the store. If you are lucky, you can sometimes see them working their craft while you shop.