chocolaTas Elegance launch party-2

Last night, chocolaTas held a small party at the Granville Island Public Market after hours to sample some amazing chocolaTas creations courtesy of master chocolatier and founder Wim Tas. Together with his wife and business partner Vive, they’ve created a line of artisanal, hand-crafted chocolates focusing on local ingredients and flavour infusions.

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[Traditional dark truffles (at right) made from a 100-year-old recipe]

Their dream to introduce Vancouver to Belgian chocolate began 12 years ago, from a home-based operation in Abbotsford to a 5,000-square-foot production facility, two stores, and a loyal following. One of their boxes has even made its way over to Dubai!

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The company produces 500,000 chocolates per year. 1,800 chocolate bars are wrapped each day!

The couple grow their own lavender and mint, while sourcing raspberries and cranberries from the Lower Mainland, peaches and pears from the Okanagan, and organic hazelnuts from Agassiz. Even with numerous unique combinations using chocolate from Central America, Africa, Madagascar, and Java, Wim and Vive’s primary goal is to let the chocolate stand out.

Wim’s ‘Mermaid’s Choice’ chocolate bar was conceived for Mink Chocolates and won several international awards in San Francisco; the bar was ultimately crowned with a World’s Best Chocolate Award. It’s a delightful mix of burnt caramel, rosemary, and sea salt. You can now enjoy this winning combination as a bonbon.

chocolaTas' Wim and Veve Tas

From chocolate bars to bears, the fun-loving couple seemed very much at home on Granville Island as they chatted with guests, pulling several pieces from the glass case to sample over the course of the evening.

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[Orange-infused ganache; Yoghurt and cranberry ganache]

I highly recommend the yoghurt and cranberry enrobed chocolates, paired on this occasion with a French dessert wine. Another hedonistic treat to savour is the caramelized pecan-topped pumpkin spiced bonbon.

Wim recommends pairing chocolates with a strong single-tone flavour wine, one without too much acidity, alcohol, or dryness. Whiskey and port are also great choices.

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The recently-launched Elegance line features new chocolates such as Whisky & Pear William, Cinnamon & Apple, Pepper & Mango, Anejo Havana Rum, and Espresso. A single tier box of 16 pieces starts at $28.95.

ChocolaTas is located at 151-1689 Johnston Street in the Granville Island Public Market and in Abbotsford at 101-31060 Peardonville Road.

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