Bohemein Fresh Chocolates
Beautiful New Zealand-made chocolates.
- CategorySweet offerings
- Address35 Waitoa Road, Hataitai, Wellington 6021, New Zealand
- Phone04-386 2974
- Website bohemein.co.nz
- Operating hoursMon-Fri 10am to 6pm Sat-Sun 10am to 4pm>
- Bohemein Fresh Chocolates Bohemein Sea Salt Caramel Chocolates | Winner 2012
Jiri Havlik says he fell in love with chocolate at the age of 12. Visiting his pastry chef brother in Belgium, he was given a tour around a chocolate factory by the company owner. “We couldn’t speak the same language, but we understood each other.”
Returning to the Czech Republic, Jiri undertook an apprenticeship to become a pastry chef. Meanwhile, his brother emigrated to New Zealand, again influencing Jiri’s destiny. “He told me New Zealand needed pastry chefs, and asked why didn’t I move there too.”
Jiri duly arrived in New Zealand in 1999. He spent six years working for other people before taking the plunge with his own business in 2005. Bohemein Chocolates now has a workshop in Hataitai as well as a central Wellington shop, and makes around 32 flavours.
“Some of the ideas come from desserts I used to make, or just because I think something is a good combination,” says Jiri.
The sea-salt caramel flavour that had our tasting panel in raptures was the serendipitous result of a French employee’s reminiscing.
“She was talking about flavours from her childhood and sea-salt caramels came up. When she tasted the chocolates, she said it was just like being at home.”
The caramel is cooked the day before the chocolates are made, and allowed to set overnight before being cut by hand – “It’s quite chewy, so we need to do them one by one.”
Jiri recommends enjoying his chocolates slowly, paying attention to the flavour. “Take your time. It’s like with a good bottle of wine – you sit down and sip it.”