Hogarth Craft Chocolate is born out of a passion for chocolate, craftsmanship and art.
We source the highest quality cacao beans from around the world to create small batches of chocolate using traditional techniques. Our small factory is located in Nelson, New Zealand where we sort, roast, crush and classify, winnow, grind and conche, age, melt, temper, mold, and wrap all by hand.
Our process uses minimal ingredients and is focused on preserving the natural flavours within the cacao to create a chocolate with a true cacao flavour, a flavour lost in industrialised processing.
Together with Ana Aceves of Sugarcube Studios we developed a chocolate bar and packaging design which illustrates Karl’s journey from sailor to chocolate maker, and the voyage the cacao takes to reach our distant pacific island.
The Long Version..
Karl started a life at sea at the ripe old age of 16, straight out of school he went fishing. Working his way up the ranks he became a skipper of his own trawler by 26, often taking 3 week voyages out into the Pacific, 4 days “steaming” away from the nearest land, or down to the Auckland Islands deep in the Southern Ocean, working in atrocious sea conditions with nowhere to shelter. After 20 years of battling the oceans he hung up his sea boots to take a course of study, gaining a business degree in 2007.
Shortly after university he embarked on a long overdue OE which took him through Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and continued through Mexico, South and Central America. During this trip he had two life changing experiences, he met (soon to be wife) Marina in Buenos Aires and he “discovered” cacao in Guatemala.
With both he thought…where have you been all my life? …..and why haven’t we met before?
Trying real cacao for the first time got Karl thinking about how chocolate is made and where it comes from. He started to investigate and soon found how to make chocolate at home.
YOU MEAN I CAN MAKE CHOCOLATE AT HOME???
Yes, you can, and he did… lots of it! After a year living in Buenos Aires Karl and Marina (now married) found they needed to move to New Zealand to find work, Karl had to return to the sea this time as an officer aboard ships in the oil industry. When he was home he was making chocolate in his shed, surprising good chocolate and more than they and their friends could eat.
Soon the toll of being away from his family for over half a year was wearing them down, their first daughter was born (Rose) and being away for so long simply wasn’t sustainable. Karl was looking for a new vocation, but he knew it had to be something he was passionate about….
LET’S MAKE CHOCOLATE!!!
It seemed like a crazy idea at the time, but they decided (well Karl did) to build a chocolate factory, make and sell chocolate. Marina had been PR for Converse in Argentina so together they sketched out what was to become HOGARTH CHOCOLATE…
Now they both run the business together while raising a family.