- Ben Thorne
An Interview With Expert Chocolatier Mick Le mare
Le Mare Chocolat are a small artisan chocolate-making business based in Stevenage. Designer and chocolatier Mick Le Mare, produces an original and unique range of fresh soft centred chocolates and individually structured designs, specialising in edible hi-definition images printed directly onto chocolates which have delicious fresh ganache/caramel centres. Mick was the mastermind behind the smooth Soleil gin ganache that fills our delectable heart shaped chocolates.
Only the finest Belgian chocolate is used in all of Le Mare Chocolat's products, importing beans from plantations involved in responsible labour practices.
So Mick, when and how did you get into something as amazing as making chocolate?
Well, the seeds were sown in 2006 - my sister, Frances, had her own cake making business and wanted to introduce chocolate to her product so started going to chocolate workshops. Needless to say her enthusiasm rubbed off onto me!
At the time I was working in graphic design, a life long career which had become a little stale, so when Frances suggested a chocolate course I jumped at it. This course taught us the basics and our chocolatier was John Costello who later became the UKs candidate for the World Chocolate Masters, held in Paris - a pretty good start!
How did you learn how to do it all?
During those early years I went on numerous courses held by Barry Callebaut, where experts such as Martin Chiffers (who taught World Masters candidates the art of producing show pieces and Jean-Pierre Wybauw, chocolates equivalent to Red Adair) both taught me the finer skills of chocolate making.
So how long have you been doing it for?
Sometime in 2007, we went to Belgium to ‘research’ our product - I’ve never eaten so much chocolate in my life! It was here where I discovered the magnetic mould - one where the back is detachable so a transfer sheet can be inserted. Well - me a graphic designer - ideas were racing away and my first moulds were purchased (I now have over 200). In early 2008 I left my graphic job and started chocolate production.
What made you start up your own business?
I formed my own design company with 2 other graphic guys in the early 80’s so knew the pros and cons of running a business. I concentrated on product development and marketing by attending large events at Olympia, Earls Court, Harrowgate etc so building up contacts, sales and expanding our product range.
And finally, what's your chocolate of choice?
My favourite chocolate is a single origin dark usually from South America but I’m currently loving Sao Thomé, off the West Coast of Africa.
Be sure to check out the chocolates which are now available in our Valentine's Day gift boxes. Subscribe to our newsletter to enjoy free delivery on your orders and get your hands on the latest Le Tarot Spirits delicacy.