Story of a... Chocolatier
As a modern-day Willy Wonka, Edgar Schaked, 41, is living the sweet life.
“A chocolatier is somebody who takes the chocolate bar and makes bon bons or truffles. To be a real chocolatier, you have to take courses from someone who knows what they’re doing, either in school or from a master chocolatier. In this case, my father’s a master chocolatier. He’s been doing it for over 40 years.”
Schaked has been working with his father to manage the Schakolad Chocolate Factory for 17 years, adding franchises and most recently, a new business, Chocolate Kingdom in Osceola County.
“My grandfather started making chocolate when he was 18 years old. He left Germany right before World War II and ended up going to England. When England got into the war, he said, ‘I’m getting out of here,” and the only country that would take him was Argentina. He started making chocolate on a tiny marble slab and eventually had a factory with 300 employees working 24 hours a day exporting chocolate through three different countries. My father got into the business because my grandfather needed help.”
“The thing about chocolate is that your own love goes into making the product. I can give the recipe to three different people and invariably it always tastes a little different. You always have to eat what you make. If you don’t like it, then don’t do it. You have to really love chocolate to be in this business.”
“For my own wedding, obviously people expected it to be full of chocolate. We did pictures using edible rice paper with chocolate frames. For the name cards, we had chocolate centerpieces with the table number. For dessert, we did chocolate-covered espresso beans in chocolate coffee cups. It depends on your budget, but you can do so many things that are amazing, beautiful and simple.”
“I had a client come in who was bidding against Disney for an event here in Orlando. It had a Roman theme, so I took chocolate and made columns. Then we did gladiators with the names of the companies in front with a fountain with little mints inside. She got the account because of that display.”
“If you’re an artist, you can do anything with chocolate. It’s just like any other medium—the sky is the limit. You get to play with flavors, too.”
“I got into this business because when you give somebody a piece of chocolate and they have that smile on their face, it makes your day. I know when I’m driving home at night that people are eating chocolate that we made, and they’re happy. So I know that through our product, we’ve made a lot of people happy, and that’s the most rewarding part.”