I wanted to start the new year by re-introducing myself. My name is Britta Kürzi, and I am a founder of Kürzi Kakao. What started as a passion project in a spare room in the apartment I share with my husband Martin, has grown into a business, with our official launch happening right before Christmas of last year (2019)!
I met Martin when I was living in Asheville, NC, and he was taking a break from work to travel and see the world. Why he decided to come to a tiny mountain town in the western part of North Carolina, I will never fully understand, but I am forever grateful that he did forever altering both of our paths in this world and the reason I am now here in Switzerland.
When I moved to Switzerland, I immediately enrolled in intensive German classes hoping to learn the language as quickly as possible. While German class consumed my mornings, I had freedom in the afternoons to pursue my passions. In my former life in the United States, I was a business major in school and then an outside sales representative in the transportation and logistics industry for over 5 years.
While I loved what I did and loved meeting with small to medium size business owners, my real passion was handcrafting my own creations in the kitchen. I loved learning about the origin of different ingredients, and I loved learning about the mechanics behind how our favorite food products are made. From learning about the mystery of the Maillard reaction to watching dough rise, I just love the combination of science and art and nature of baking/cooking/food creation in general.
Here I was, with spare time in the afternoons to pursue my passion, and in the land known and famous for chocolate, so I decided to do a real Swiss immersion program, and that’s when I enrolled in Ecole Chocolat Bean to Bar chocolate course. I bought a small roaster, a 5kg melanger, a champion juicer to crack and grind cacao, and some other necessary equipment and began learning and creating new chocolate batches every week. In 6 months, I became a certified chocolatier/chocolate maker.
From there, I decided I couldn’t learn enough about chocolate. It’s a complicated and messy science, but it’s also fun and delicious and worth every minute of time I’ve invested in learning about it. I have participated in various education programs around the world to enhance my knowledge and understanding of the chocolate making process from tree to bar. I studied at Ghent University in Belgium, in a small town outside of Milano, Italy where they manufacture small craft chocolate machines, on cacao farms in the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, and in Nicaragua learning about harvest and fermentation of fine flavor cacao. I have also participated in the Chocolate Maker Forum in Amsterdam, and I participate now every week on chocolate forums online with other makers from around the world sharing knowledge and best practices. In addition to this, I am also a passionate reader, trying to read new books and scientific publications on a weekly basis to enhance my knowledge of both chocolate and entrepreneurship.
I’m so proud of everything I have learned. And I am so excited to have launched a business which can use my knowledge of creating fine flavor chocolate and bring high quality products to you, all of which use real organic ingredients sourced thoughtfully from around the world. The goal of our business is to focus on flavor first, using only the best plant-based ingredients money can buy to create delightful tasting and dynamic flavor experiences.
Preserving nature is vital for my long term business success, as fine flavor cacao doesn’t thrive on a destroyed planet. For this reason, and because I love Earth and all of its beings, all of our packaging is eco-friendly. The paper used for the boxes are FSC certified. The inner pergamin is compostable.
The last thing I will say about the chocolate we create, is that each batch is unique and individual. Every bar is handcrafted with love and care using rare and premium ingredients. I am so proud of what we are creating, and I hope you enjoy the end results as much as we do!
I also hope you enjoyed getting to know about me, and please continue to enjoy our chocolate in 2020!
All the best,