Founded by Master Chocolatier, Anne Shaeffer, Sulpice Chocolat is a Chicago-based artisan chocolate house specializing in the world’s first designer, hand-painted chocolate bars. Shaeffer first had the idea while walking through the chocolate section of the grocery store and wondering to herself, “How can most people tell the difference between good and not-so-good chocolate before they buy?” This was her “Ah-Ha” moment.
Sulpice Chocolat initially entered the market as a prestige brand for specialty stores and online. However, with the introduction of their new line extension, Sulpice Chocolat has entered the grocery channel and is very excited about its official rollout at theSweets & Snacks Expo this year (Booth #1086).
“In fact, we are proud to say that we are on the forefront of pioneering this exciting new way to enjoy luxury chocolate bars,” Shaeffer says. “By individually decorating each one with either a painted splatter or a marbleized design, we aim to enrich the chocolate experience by inspiring both taste and sight while staying true to our beliefs that ‘chocolate should be an experience, not just a guilty pleasure’.”
Each one of Sulpice Chocolate’s decadent chocolate bars are individually crafted with premium quality chocolate couverture, the same chocolate that is used to make truffles at many chic boutique chocolate shops. The company then goes one step further to enhance its decadent chocolate by creating both classic and contemporary flavors; each one inspired by Shaeffer’s days as a pastry chef.
“Ultimately, we believe that each and every taste experience is enhanced when it is matched by pure beauty,” she adds. “This is why every Sulpice Chocolat chocolate bar is individually hand-painted with one of our signature painted splatters or marbleized designs — ultimately resulting in a total and unparalleled chocolate experience.”
If you were stranded on a deserted island with only one kind of candy, what would it be?
I would have to be our Sulpice Chocolat Sea Salt and Dark Chocolate bar. It’s the perfect combination of premium chocolate and sea salt. They’re so delicious; I can’t stop eating them!
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to be an artist. I loved drawing and painting and still do, which must be why I wanted to have an artistic spin on the classic chocolate bar by hand-painting them. This is my small mark on the world. Bringing beauty to the grocery store in the form of hand-painted chocolate bar masterpieces.
What issues concern you most about the confectionery industry and why?
The proper and ethical treatment of cocoa farmers is my biggest concern. Ever since I started Sulpice Chocolat, using ethically sourced, premium chocolate has been my top priority. I’m very proud to say that we have recently received our official Fair Trade certification. I’m so happy that we are able to do our part helping out our global economy.
If given the chance to choose anyone, whom would you like to collaborate with?
Mindy Kaling. She’s so smart and funny.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
My husband’s father likes to say “You can’t get hit if you’re not out in traffic.” That saying really hits home and reminds me that “the harder I work, the luckier I get.”
What excites you most about your job?
Buyer meetings. I know that some people find it scary, but for me it’s a ton of fun! I love meeting new people and talking about Sulpice Chocolat, but what I love most is when they taste my chocolate and tell me how delicious it is and say they want to bring it into their stores. It’s an incredible feeling.