Chocolate, right? It’s just the best. At least, I think so. That’s why I was so eager to meet up with Simply Chocolate’s own Sales and Marketing Director Martin Holmboe, a man so experienced in Chocolate he’s practically the Easter Bunny.
I was not disappointed. Armed with a mega-watt smile and a bag full of Persian Perrys, the new white chocolate and Persian liquoriced-flecked bar, Martin seems to live the Simple Chocolate vision: high quality, low pressure. After perusing their shop on the basement floor of Illum, we sat down to chat.
He starts by taking me through the product. “Yes, You Can Buy Love,” “Fashionably Late,” “You. Me. Coffee. Now” and “Forget Johnny Depp” are some of the box names that have garnered giggles from consumers around the world. It’s the taste, though, that has people coming back.
Flavors found in their bars like Minty Cindy (dark chocolate with peppermint oil) and Grainy Billy (white chocolate with coconut and cranberries) bring chocolate-lovers a new range of tastes without being overwhelmingly weird. The branding might be irreverent but Simply Chocolate is serious about flavor.
Launched in 2011 after the dismantling of Magasin Chocolade, Simply Chocolate have positioned themselves as a witty comeback to the often formal chocolate industry in Denmark.
“We don’t use marzipan or nougat,” explains Holmboe, “because it’s too traditional.” This includes their two seasonal releases- Christmas and Easter. Instead, typically healthy-fare like muesli, blackcurrant, pistachios and almonds are surrounded by dark or white chocolate. As Martin points out, this makes your guilty pleasure just a little less guilt-inducing. “We’re not trying to make chocolate healthy,” he explains, “but we want to make sure what you put into your body is good for you. Dark chocolate, for example, is loaded with anti-oxidants.”
So what I just heard is that dark chocolate is good for me and Simply Chocolate will improve my muscle tone. Science! And even if that’s not exactly the case, the point is well-taken. After all, I’d rather have a beautifully made pure chocolate with roasted almonds or coconut flakes than…whatever goes into a Mars Bar. Seriously, does anyone know? Why is it stretchy like that?! And at prices like 16 DKK/bar, there’s barely a cost difference between typical commercial chocolate and Simply Chocolate’s goods.
But bars and boxes aren’t the whole story. You can pick up single pieces, flodeboller, truffles and various chocolate-covered nuts and berries, all packaged with their signature twist of good humor. They’re also upfront about what goes into each batch: no alcohol, no artificial color, lacquer or flavors.
Simply Chocolate’s unpretentious attitude and focus on design, flavor and creativity have proved irresistible to chocolate lovers in and out of Denmark. Shops in London and Paris are currently open, while a location in Stockholm will be up and running in 2014. Despite the international success, Simply Chocolate is dedicated to providing for their Danish fans first.
“We’re proud to be from Copenhagen.” Martin tells me. “We use English in our packaging for international accessibility but our sensibility is still very much Danish. Our packaging, our quality. That’s what we’re about.”
In three short years Simply Chocolate has gone from pipe-dream to success story. They still have lots to accomplish, says Martin, but they’re on the right track. Biting into a Persian Perry, I can’t help but agree.
Visit their website, or you can pick up a box (or three) at:
1001 Copenhagen K
1630 Copenhagen V
Kgs. Nytorv 13,
1050 København K