I first tasted Cocoa Hernando chocolates when I visited the Startup Showcase at Somerset House a few months back: so when founder Paul Tomlinson offered to send me some samples of his latest ‘collection’ I of course jumped at the chance to sample some of this fabulous artisanal chocolate. The deliciously smooth flavours of Cocoa Hernando are also delightfully unusual – try Masala Chai or Chipotle Chilli – and beautifully packaged to boot. I caught up with Paul to find out a bit more about the launch of his new range.
What is the ethos behind Cocoa Hernando chocolates, and what is different about your brand?
Cocoa Hernando discover the finest chocolate and most exciting flavours from around the world. It is these unusual flavours complemented by the beautiful travel inspired packaging which makes us different.
A bit like a fashion label you have curated collections of flavours: what prompted this approach to chocolate making?
Indeed. I think it’s a lovely and refined way to present the chocolate bars. I’m an avid collector of records and books which also inspired this approach. Penguin paperbacks and Factory Records especially spring to mind…..
You have some very distinct flavours in your range – how do you establish what works well together?
I’ve always been obsessed with food, so it’s an absolute pleasure to experiment with different flavours. Like any creative process, you keep researching and experimenting until you come up with something that blows your mind!
It was your wonderful packaging and display that caught my eye at the start up showcase: how did you come up with these designs and who created them?
Thank you. I’m also obsessed with design, especially the styles which typified the golden age of travel. We did all the graphic design of the packaging ourselves and then commissioned an illustrator to add the magic.
What was the process of producing the labels?
Since discovery is a key theme of the brand, we first looked for wonderful and unusual locations from the countries of the chocolate bars. We then created extremely detailed briefs and handed them to our talented illustrator, Rui Ricardo.
I was unfortunately unable to join you for the launch of the Herbs and Spice collection: what did I miss?
You missed lots of delicious chocolate and a wonderful party in the classy surroundings of Monmouth Street. It was great to finally celebrate our achievements so far!
Where can fans buy bars of Cocoa Hernando chocolate?
We sell online and hope to be in certain department stores before the end of Summer. Smaller shops are starting to pick up on us now too. We also like to pop-up with our suitcases around London whenever we can, so keep an eye out.
Do you have any new launch plans you can share with us?
We’re currently working on the next collection, which I’m very excited about and we’re also planning an exciting and extended pop-up event for the end of the year. Exciting times!
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