Meet de Makers
Meet the makers
Hi, we are the makers of the bean-to-bar Mesjokke chocolate bars: the four friends Luc, Per, Wouter and Jasper. We wanted to fulfill a shared childhood dream: making a wicked, tasty chocolate in a resposibly, sustainable and transparent manner.
We started out in Wouter’s living room with making chocolate on a very small scale. By now, we have our own small chocolate factory in the Utrecht region.
The entire enterprise turned out te be a true exploration of the miraculous, and sometimes opaque world of cocoa. Yes, us too had to discover the enormous variety of cocoa; beans that all give their own distinctive taste to a chocolate bar. The world of cocoa is so broad that we discover new flavours, new techniques, new passionate people and new machines every day!
But based on the journey we’ve made so far, we can safely say that most of the chocolate that is for sale in Europe doesn’t offer consumers a lot of cocoa experience. Cocoa is much more diverse than most people think!
In 2014 we founded The Chocolate Explorers, with the aim to offer an insight into the world of cocoa to a lot more people, regarding the abundance of different flavours, as well as the insight in cocoa trade and –production.
Jasper, Wouter and Luc have know each other before that time. For years, they’ve been playing in a band, touring the country. Besides music, the friends shared the love for good food, wonderful produce and the art of cooking. Many evenings they treated people to passionately prepared food and related atmosphere.
Nevertheless, each of them went his own professional way – Wouter became General Practiononer, Luc became Art Historian and Jasper started his own catering business as a chef- before coming together again in the chocolate business.
In fall 2014 we met Anthropologist Per in Amsterdam. It was clear instantly that this young man was bitten by the cocoa bug too. It didn’t take long before we decided to continue the cocoa adventure with the four of us.
Our first chocolate Expedition…
…went to Vilnius, capital of Lithuania… Not to go on a search for wonderful cocoabeans obviously, but to pay a visit to the chocolate label Chocolate Naive, founded by Domantas Uzpalis and Arunas Matacius. They too started years ago in their living room with making chocolate, and by now, they have a large factory where they make incredible, price winning chocolate. At Chocolate Naive we learned the basics of bean-to-bar chocolate making.
And then, there was……. Mesjokke
Once back in The Netherlands, we actually started experimenting and we ordered our first small machines. We tested quite a big amount of cocoa varieties, different types of sugar and we used the techniques we learned at Naïve in Lithuania. Several machines died on us, because we didn’t limit ourselves to the conventional ways of making chocolate, pushing the machines too far. But, at the end, after a long test phase, we developed the basis of our brand: a layered, complex dark milk chocolate (sweet, a bit of fruity acidity and salty) and a powerful dark chocolate.
Looking back on this, one can say that these four friends –a chef, a general practitioner, an anthropologist and an art historian- embarked on a crazy adventure together; a fascinating journey through the amazing world of cocoa and chocolate, in search of unique flavours and stories behind the honest cocoa varieties. That’s Mesjokke, isn’t it?!