Ruket founders Alessandro and Marco have always loved food and been fascinated by traditional, artisanal production. Their discovery of craft chocolate happened almost by accident, when Marco wanted to use the best possible chocolate in his ice cream parlour, the pair started experimenting with cacao. The two quickly decided that this chocolate was much more than just an ingredient and that they wanted to share it with the world.
Working with a select few origins, Marco and Alessandro are keen to spread the word and let people discover for themselves the art and flavours of bean-to-bar chocolate.
What’s your background? Why and how did you get into chocolate?
Our back ground is self-taught, driven by a great passion and love for the raw materials, in this case the cocoa beans.
Alessandro: I have had a great passion for the world of food since I was a child smelling cakes and bread that my parents churn out daily in their bakery. I studied at a pastry course after graduation and I have always had a great passion for chocolate, but no one ever taught me. Thanks to Marco I had the chance to start studying the cocoa beans, selecting the plantations, looking for new machinery for processing, studying the process for chocolate creations.
Marco: I have always had a passion for raw materials and in seeking small artisan producers. I love the wine and the natural processes without the addition of chemicals. Four years ago I had the opportunity to open the ice cream parlour “Il teatro del gelato”, now we are one of the 50 best ice cream in Italy.
With Alessandro we are keen on chocolate and on creating bars from raw materials sourcing the beans getting to the bar.
What mission have you set yourselves for making chocolate?
Our mission is to spread our concept of chocolate in the widest possible range, the most natural possible, using stone machines that do not alter the taste or go to change the flavor of the cocoa beans.
We like to enhance the flavor of the cocoa bean roasting with the best, we do a lot of tastings and tests before deciding. However it happens many times that every test we like more and more than the previous one, and it is difficult to choose, but this is the beauty of making chocolate.
When did you start your company — and with whom? How many are there of you?
We started about two and a half years ago or 3, doing small quantity in the Marco’s ice cream shop (Il Teatro del Gelato).
These years have let us to refine the techniques of processing and selection plantations.
Just one year ago we decided to open Rukèt Chocolate, to show that there are other types of chocolate made entirely by hand, from the selection to the packaging and the shipping.
We like to work in this way to enhance the flavors of the beans and continue manual work that has been done with care and passion from the farmers in the plantations.
It is thanks to their work that we can create quality chocolate that excites our customers at each tasting, every time you taste a piece of our chocolate, every bar is unique and unrepeatable.
Where do you want to go next? New bars? New beans? New markets?
We want to continue to grow, discover new types of beans and plantations, interacting more and more with the farmers of the plantations. We are already doing it with some of our producers.
In the next years we will create new bars replacing some types in our range.
Our dream would be to make us known also in the Asian markets, being aware of their great appreciation for the chocolate and Italian products.
How did you source your beans?
Doing much research, watching hours and hours of movies on the net, sampling tasting many bars of other chocolate makers, contacting plantations asking for information on the harvest, fermentation, drying, fermentation temperatures, asking the plantations images and the people who work there, we like to follow each of cocoa production.
But we also like to let the farmer give his imprint to the cocoa bean, working in its natural habitat, asking them information also on what type of land is the cocoa plantation, the height ect.
What inspired your choice of wrapper/mould design?
Our design comes from our origins. Initially our tablets were hand sewn one by one from the Marco’s mom. We liked to give a touch of classy too, and the seam has allowed us to make ourselves known by creating curiosity.
We made the wrapping being faithful to our origins, and the tablet trying to give a sense of belonging to the territory because the mould reminds a diamond similar to the figure and architecture of the “Palazzo dei Diamanti” of Ferrara one of the symbol of our region.
What innovations in tech and chocolate crafting are you producing?
We are thinking about a lot of ideas on new chocolate craftings that will come out next year because we are testing now. About innovation we would like to try the roll mill or a mexican grinder to give to the bars a different texture. We like to be present on the web through social networks Instagram and Facebook. We like to communicate how we work and to be transparent and let people know what we do in our laboratory.
What is your favourite food? Wine? Other chocolate makers?
Marco: I am a lover of grilled meat, pinot noir, Borgogna, Dick Taylor, Original Beans (white chocolate).
Alessandro: I love sweets and cakes so much. My favorite is Zuppa Inglese, but I like a lot also ice cream. In fact I eat a lot of ice cream every morning in laboratory = P, Red wine Borgogna, Omnom Tanzania, Dick Taylor, Dandelion, Raaka, Solomon island.