5 questions to founder Dieter Meier
1. After successes with YELLO music, films, museum exhibitions, publications, participations and organic products from Argentina, you have built a chocolate factory in recent years. Isn't that carrying coals to Newcastle?
Absolutely not, if a university of applied sciences had not developed the prototype of a process for the gentle extraction of the cocoa bean. In fact, to this day, this fruit has not been able to show its full potential. Conventional manufacturers use a heat-intensive production, so that the authentic aroma of the bean gets lost in their chimneys.
Yes, we are "finally unchaining cocoa" and thus achieve an unprecedented taste experience with our chocolate.
2. Dieter, you are travelling all over the world, you are a self-confessed golf addict, you cultivate thousands of hectares in Argentina, you tend nut plantations on the Rio Negro, you produce organic wine, you plan new music with Yello, isn't that all a bit chaotic?
Everything arises from chaos, including our little world, which only developed into a sphere after a wild mush, on which we have been producing sense and nonsense since time immemorial. In fact, things come at me and surprise me, like the emergence of a new chocolate. Then, no sooner do I know it, I'm hanging like a climber on the north face of the Eiger and there's no turning back, or as the band Trio put it in a nutshell: "And then comes the rhythm where I always have to go with it." The most important thing on the mountain and in chocolate-making is trust in the rope team, even in the case of falling rocks and changing weather.
3. Have you actually developed a recipe against the madness of sugar bombs?
I have never developed recipes "against" anything, but, as here, a method "for" a sensible future of food and also of chocolate. Our milk chocolate, for example, contains 60% cocoa and less than 30% sugar, in contrast to conventional products that have to work with added flavourings and up to 60% granulated sugar, because the traditional cocoa powder cannot normally be used in high percentages due to its bitter substances, which we are able to extract.
4. In the beginning you were smiled at by the big manufacturers. Are they still smiling, or do they believe in your supposedly revolutionary new process now that the factory is up and running?
Our extraction is indeed unique. Whether the big manufacturers already believe in us, I don't know. But sooner or later the sugar bombs will explode and the billion-dollar companies will have to live up to their promises and look for solutions. We are ready.
5. Isn't that a little arrogant? Giants live longer, sugar or no sugar?
Stefan Remmler and his band have composed a wonderful piece of music: "Everything has an end, only the sausage has two, yes, my darling, it's over".
Since I am not waiting for the end of the sausage, but enjoy the wonderful dark single-origin chocolates with minimal or no bitterness, I am confident that I am not alone on our planet, but that I can enchant the extraterrestrial beings as soon as they land and employ them as highly-motivated salespeople until they disappear into space again and warmly recommend the chocolate miracle of Oro de Cacao the inclined customer on the Milky Way as well.