Hidden in a yo-pro jungle is a small chocolaterie concocting delicious chocolate potions to make even the stiffest suit melt.
Bohemien Fresh Chocolates utilises the chocolate traditions of Europe’s chocolate capitals to bring true chocolate-y craftsmanship and quality to Wellingtonian taste buds. Head Chocolatier Jiri (George) Haylik hails from the Czech Republic, and has had a passion for chocolate since he was 12 years old. His arrival in New Zealand saw him realise his boyhood dream, opening Bohemien Fresh Chocolates in 2005. This has since grown from one small manufacturing shop in Hataitai to a new shop in Hataitai, another in Featherston Street, a website, and a factory in Miramar with 190 square metres of floor space.
Freshness is key to the successful chocolate crafting which has seen Bohemien win two Cuisine magazine Artisan Awards. Only fresh, high quality ingredients are used in a process which is likened to a jeweller’s crafting of gold. All ingredients are natural and artificial flavours and preservatives are shunned. This makes for a shorter shelf life, but is in keeping with Bohemien’s mantra of quality and craftsmanship.
Not only do the carefully selected team of chocolatiers create mouth-watering solid chocolate, they also brew liquid gold with their delectable hot chocolates. Stepping foot into their Featherstone street store is like stepping into a Parisian chocolate café. Fixtures shine soft gold and a warm chocolate scent makes you realise that you have indeed just died and gone to chocolate heaven. There is an extensive range of flavours of hot chocolate available; the hazelnut milk chocolate concoction that I tried ($5.50) was everything anyone has ever wanted from a cup of liquid chocolate. Sweet, thick, warm, with an added interesting hint of hazelnut to make it that little bit more delicious; a perfect winter treat.