Media Release: August 2017
Artisanal chocolatier Atypic Chocolate has opened its doors and the sweet smell of chocolate now permeates the air at South Melbourne Market.
Established by French trained pastry chef-turned-chocolatier Charles Lemai and his business partner Chi, Atypic Chocolate is handcrafting single-origin, small batch chocolate from bean-to-bar in a brand new stall at the Market. The business was inspired during a visit to Vietnam last year where Charles met a chocolate maker who introduced him to creating chocolate from raw cacao bean to final product (bean-to-bar).
The process of creating artisanal sweets is central to the offering at Atypic Chocolate. “Chocolate takes centre stage in our stall and the design creates a deep sense of appreciation for the process of chocolate making. I want customers to feel my passion for chocolate and see the entire bean-to-bar process on a micro level”, Charles said.
It really is like Charlie and his Chocolate Factory brought to life. Customers can watch it all – from roasting, dehusking also known as winnowing, and grinding the nibs, to refining the balance of flavour and texture (conching) and molding the chocolate. The 42-square metre space is set to an optimal temperature of 20 degrees and humidity controlled, creating an ideal environment for making and storing chocolate. The large viewing windows allow shoppers to see every detail, but nothing can contain the sweet chocolate aroma.
Atypic Chocolate offers delicious handmade chocolates, desserts, gifts and specialty chocolate items. The range includes single-origin chocolate tablets in dark, milk and white chocolate (around $11); chocolate pastries like decadent brownies and hazelnut merveilleux – mounds of crisp meringue with organic praline and single origin Solomon Island 70% dark chocolate ($4-$7); European-style hot chocolate with dark chocolate, spicy chocolate or matcha white chocolate options ($5 or $5.50 with almond milk). Chocolate soft serve will be added to the menu in summer.
The emphasis at Atypic Chocolate is on premium and organic ingredients. Organic or direct trade cacao beans are sourced from small farms in the Solomon Islands, Haiti, Brazil and Madagascar and the resulting single-origin chocolate allows the flavours of the beans from each location to shine through. Organic raw sugar, non GMO sunflower lecithin, unbleached organic flour, free range eggs, and organic or chemical free nuts are also used to make the chocolate and pastries. Charles will be experimenting with new textures, cream fillings and unique flavours, always with an emphasis on the finest ingredients.
Since 1867, South Melbourne Market has been a treasured inner-city landmark and a favourite destination among locals and visitors. Operated by Port Phillip Council, it is the quintessential village market, a place where people come not only to purchase fresh food, but also to meet, eat, drink, shop, discover, share and connect.
New stalls such as Atypic Chocolate are part of Council’s plan to meet the changing needs of the community while staying true to the Market’s identity. Mayor Bernadene Voss says “it is fitting that in the Market’s 150th year, we are opening a chocolatier that is innovative, progressive, organic and sustainable. Charles is a true artisan and being able to watch the chocolate-making process adds a new element of food theatre to the Market’s exciting mix of modern, on trend and classical food stores”.
Atypic Chocolate is located at Stall 170 in Aisle D, South Melbourne Market, corner of Coventry and Cecil streets, South Melbourne.
For media enquiries contact: Greta Donaldson Publicity | 0427 658 638