(This article appeared in the Spring 2021 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)
Priscilla Scaff-Mariani and Angela Borah, Pastry Chef and Head Chocolatier, respectively
We aim to become a premier national and international artisanal chocolate and confections company. We offer sensational seasonal handcrafted chocolates, rooted in classical French technique. Our skilled team unify classic American flavors with French techniques, where only the best quality, finest craftsmanship, delicious chocolates and select baked sweet offerings with beautiful packaging are handmade in our shop.
Priscilla Scaff-Mariani :
Along with our eclectic NYC-inspired chocolate bonbons, I would say our cheesecake macarons have become one of our signature offerings. While we haven’t strayed too far from our first flavor menu, we wanted to make sure we stayed true to our New York roots with our “cheesecake” concept and consistently deliver on a great product.
Our signature enrobed chocolates are the most popular, and we use this as a means to tell our story of being a chocolate shop operating in NYC. Living and working in a cosmopolitan city like NYC allows us to be exposed to unique ingredients and culinary traditions from colleagues from diverse backgrounds; you can find this in Pumpkin Seed Praline and Mole ganache (inspired by Mexican mole from a bodega in Jackson Heights, Queens) or Seaweed Sesame ganache (inspired by Korean seaweed snack).
We take time, painstaking in some ways, to thoroughly go through recipes and procedures to really iron out questions or issues. This might take some extra time in the beginning, but ensuring that the entire team is aware of procedures and techniques makes us all more efficient in the long-run.
Believe it or not, slowing down and taking the time and patience to teach things the right way has sped up production in the long-run. It’s a counter-intuitive approach; you want your team members to perfect new techniques fast. However, if you do not invest in your employee, you will see more mistakes and as a result and quality and consistency are compromised.
Our macaron depositing machine would have to be one of our MVP pieces of equipment. This piece of equipment helps us execute our specific recipe, and do so at a faster pace. It saves us time piping our macarons, which in turn helps us use our energy in other more creative ways. It is a very helpful part of our team, and helps us to do the leg work of macaron production.
Our Stephan Universal Machine has helped us achieve our goals for chocolate by creating a silky-smooth texture in our ganache and extending the shelf-life. Through the years, we had to learn to work with the machine to find what works for us. Ultimately, a machine is a tool to help you get there, not an end-all solution.
Secret of Success
Our team. We spend most of our time and days with our team, and we have become somewhat of a family here. Trust and having one another’s back has given us strength to take on whatever comes our way. It’s probably one of the single most important investments one can make for a business. Another key factor is our ability to adapt, which goes hand in hand with the toughness of our team. We collectively roll with the punches.
We have an amazing team! When I say that, we’ve been through thick and thin, from the opening of the shop to working through the Covid-19 quarantine. Some team members have worked with us for 15-plus years. The key to success is building a strong team and culture that will have each other’s back, and placing the interest of the team above anything else to go through this journey together.
This past year has taught us to be incredibly resilient. Our team never stopped; we plan to expand our e-commerce stream. We are shopping for a commissary location to support our current growing business and eventually bring back our brick-and-mortar shop – and maybe a few more!
Visit www.kreutherchocolate.com for more infor
Photos by Todd Coleman
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