Everything I once knew and loved about chocolate changed, or rather, became more clear, after I tried a “Maple Crunch Bar” from Choco Delights.
Choco Delight is a small business based in Ottawa and Gatineau and owners Kathani and Rachit Parikh have big dreams of creating chocolate with a new meaning.
With big smiles, enthusiasm, and an idea for chocolate that is unique to the market (and quickly attracting crowds to the stands), Kathani explains that she creates each chocolate as if it were her last.
“Choco Delights is the place to foster innovation and artistic excellence and make unique and funky chocolates. It creates happiness and special moments in the life of people,” Kathani says.
Choco Delights is a two-year-old concept created when Rachit expressed his displeasure with the quality of common store-bought chocolate bars. Kathani and Rachit, both fans and frequent chocolate consumers themselves, wanted to create a chocolate that fulfilled their needs and the needs of consumers with similar desires.
Kathani’s passion for baking started at a young age. As a kid, Kathani grew up watching MasterChef and quickly realized she wanted to pursue baking. Choco Delights was the perfect opportunity.
Kathani took to her kitchen and began creating what is now a business she is proud of.
Kathani says she went to Google for suggestions on how to start out and eventually reached out to other businesses for tips and guidance.
Making chocolate “has become a passion,” says Kathani.
While Kathani works closely with the chocolate, Rachit focuses on the entrepreneurial side of the business.
“Entrepreneur means finding the problem in the market and creating the solution to that problem while building a business to support the local economy. My advice for young people is to take risks and start working on their ideas. Implementation is the key to success,” Rachit says.
Choco Delights differentiates itself from its competitors by basing its image on using natural products.
“We want to make chocolate that is meaningful in flavour,” Kathani says.
Their products are sourced from Belgium and contain no stabilizers and their cocoa ingredients come right from the plant.
The Maple Crunch Bar is one of the best-selling bars Choco Delights offers. Wrapped in a beautiful maple package, the Maple Crunch Bar is rich in flavour. With flakes of maple worked into the bar, the maple complements the purity of the chocolate and enriches the experience.
The process to make these bars is fun and lengthy, approximately four hours to be exact.
The maple crunch is made with maple sugar that is bought as maple sugar balls from local farmers. Kathani melts the dark chocolate, tempers the chocolate for about 30 minutes by hand and adds the maple sugar balls to the chocolate. Once this is complete, she adds that mixture into the chocolate bar mold touched off with maple sugar balls on top of the chocolate. The chocolate must cool in the fridge for two hours and then the bars are ready for packaging and distribution.
Then, Kathani adds this mixture into the chocolate bar mold to decorate it with maple sugar balls on top. Next, she puts the mold in the fridge to set the chocolate for about two hours. Finally, Kathani places the chocolate into its wrapper, and it is ready to sell.
“It is not just a business; for us, it is an emotion. It is an effort to make that move in people’s lives when thinking about chocolate,” says Kathani.
With the not-so-secret, secret ingredient of love added to each individual chocolate bar, Kathani has enjoyed every step of creating her business and is looking forward to making more, new, variants of chocolates.
Choco Delights can be found online at chocodelights.ca as well as on Instagram at @chocodelights_official.