Biting Into A Milanese Moment: The people behind Il Morso
How two friends created a coffee-chocolate bar.
Where do great entrepreneurial ideas come from? For Jordan Schuster, it was Milan. More precisely, a small café in Milan 12 years ago when a waiter told him to dip a piece of chocolate into his cup of espresso.
That moment inspired him to open Fearless, a chocolate company in Berkeley, Calif. And while he did turn out a broad range of chocolate items, including chocolate coffee bars — for nearly 8 years, the company produced chocolate exclusively from the only organic cocoa farm in Brazil — he never did quite replicate the moment. In 2014, Schuster met Jason Berton, an entrepreneur experienced in fashion and food.
The two quickly became fast friends and Schuster’s “moment” was reinvigorated, prompting him to experiment with coffee, chocolate and sugar to create Il Morso, which is Italian for “The Bite.”
His experience at Fearless drove home the importance of cocoa butter in chocolate, which eventually lead to him creating a square made of organic espresso beans, organic cocoa butter and organic cane sugar.
As Schuster says, “Morso Coffee Bars are an inspired combination of coffee’s highly coveted functionality with chocolate’s exquisitely sumptuous texture — all 100 percent organic and Fair Trade, of course.
“Il Morso gives you the smoothest caffeine lift around,” he adds. “We beautifully discovered when coffee plays with cocoa butter, the result is a soft landing into the sweet spot of caffeine.”
The bars, which are produced in a facility located on San Francisco’s Treasure Island near the Golden Gate Bridge, deliver 14 to 18 mg. of caffeine in an intense yet extremely smooth manner.
If you were stranded on a deserted island with only one kind of candy, what would it be?
My all-time favorite candy is really nature’s candy — commonly known as fruit. Bananas and oranges are still the best package design out there and they really satisfy.
What was the last cool thing you saw online?
A trailer from the New York City Ballet about its “The Incredible Thing” is pretty amazing.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
All I’ve ever wanted to be is the kind of artist that makes people feel the way I feel when I encounter something completely amazing.
What issues concern you most about the confectionery industry and why?
Aside from the seemingly endless effort to make “food” from non-food ingredients, my biggest concern is packaging waste. It’s unconscionable that all packaging isn’t bio-degradable.
What’s the last book you’ve read?
Hunger Math by Rob Conte
What is your pet peeve?
If given the chance to choose anyone, whom would you like to collaborate with?
I really admire the catalogue of work from Bompas and Parr.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Shut up, go do it.
What excites you most about your job?
It’s a humble honor to make food that people eat. Putting something into one’s body implies a kind of trust that I assume with the utmost level of responsibility. This drives me to strive for elegant perfection in everything I create.