Where does Sephra Chocolate come from?

Amber Fawson
@amber-fawson
07/08/11 12:59:47AM
9 posts

I had a bag of Sephra's milk chocolate (Sephra the chocolate fountain company) and decided I'd try it out on a couple recipes. I found it was extremely easy to work with and tempered really nicely.

I would LOVE to find out who Sephra has making their chocolate and then find out what else they offer. The Sephra bag I have claims they have a Belgian chocolate maker who makes their signature formula for them.

I thought it might be Callebaut, but after speaking with a technical advisor there who had never heard of Sephra, and then sampling Callebaut's own fountain chocolate, I'm pretty certain it is someone else. Any ideas would be so appreciated!


updated by @amber-fawson: 04/17/15 08:09:19AM
Sebastian
@sebastian
07/08/11 11:32:35PM
754 posts

Yes, but I'm not going to tell you 8-) That's for the company to decide if they want to release or not.

Keep in mind that with an outfit the size of callebaut (any of the large industrial chocolate suppliers actually), a technical person may have no idea whom all the commercial contracts are. It's quite unusual for a single person to have complete knowledge of the entire company's customer list...

Amber Fawson
@amber-fawson
07/09/11 11:04:37AM
9 posts

Sebastian,

That's totally fair, and a good point! (though you are killing me, you know : ) I just might try actually calling Sephra, which I somehow had not thought about. It won't hurt. And I just might start sampling a little more callebaut than I have in the past.

Thank you!! I so appreciate the note.

Amber

Braun Ehman
@braun-ehman
07/12/11 07:13:01PM
3 posts

Sephra's imported Belgian chocolate is made up by one of the four big chocolate manufacturers in Belgium! To make this fun, if someone can name the big four I will happily send them 6lbs of either Sephra's Belgium Semi-sweet Dark or Milk chocolate free of charge, you choose whatever type you would like. Sephra is one of the only US based companies to import couverture chocolate from Belgium. Couverture chocolate is chocolate that contains at least 32% cocoa butter making the chocolate viscous enough that when melted it will flow through the fountain perfectly and produce a smooth cascading curtain over each tier. Also, Sephra doesn't seek to hide who manufacturers our chocolate, it's out there if you search a little. However, we have developed our own recipes for each of our chocolates so even if you were to try the manufacturers brand, it would not taste like our signature brand. Thanks for the interest and we appreciate your post! I do work at Sephra and . along with everyone else here, we absolutely love what we do and would be happy to answer any questions you may have about anything so please don't hesitate to contact us any time. We look forward see who can name the big four first! Thanks again!

Ruth Atkinson Kendrick
@ruth-atkinson-kendrick
07/12/11 07:45:39PM
194 posts
I'll take a shot---Callebaut, Belcolade, Dolfin, Cote D'or.
Amber Fawson
@amber-fawson
07/12/11 10:07:30PM
9 posts

Braun,

Thank you for taking a moment to drop a note and for your gracious (and very fun) reply. I'm on pins and needles to see who gets to take home the Sephra!

Brad Churchill
@brad-churchill
07/12/11 11:11:51PM
527 posts

Sephra's Premium Dark Chocolate is made by Callebaut.

Cheers.

Brad

Braun Ehman
@braun-ehman
07/13/11 06:45:30PM
3 posts

Amber, I have appreciated your post regarding "Where does Sephra Chocolate come from?" Also, Brad is right about our manufacturer, it is Callebaut. However, our recipe isproprietaryso you will only find it being distributed through Sehpra or an authorized dealer. We don't tout this nearly enough, but Sephra was the first company to ever develop a fountain ready chocolate. Prior to 2003, when people wanted to use chocolate in a fountain they either added vegetable or canoil oil or added cocoa butter to yield the right consistency.

Ruth, thank you for taking a stab at what we would consider the big four Belgian Chocolate manufacturers. Since you took a shot at it I would love to send you 6lbs of Sephra's chocolate. Tell me what types of chocolate you would like to try, 3 bags makes up 6lbs and they can be different types, whatever you would like. I will also offer 4 lbs of Sephra's chocolate to everyone who commented on this post ;) If you commented prior to this post and would like 2 bags of Sephra's chocolate please send your contact information to marketing@sephra.com along with what two types of chocolate you would like and I will ship them out immediately free of charge. This offer is limited to US based addresses, no PO Boxes, sorry if you are out of the country :( And if any of you would care to share your thoughts on our chocolate we would love to hear about it through The Chocolate Life.com ~ good or bad, we listen and always do our best to take care of everyone we do business with! Thanks Amber, keep up the great work :D

P.S. - Big Four Belgian Manufacturers: Schokinag/ADM, Belcolade, Callebaut, OCG... there are others, many of whom seem to be a close second, but those four are what we would consider some of the biggest in Belgium.

Enjoy your chocolate!

Braun Ehman

Sebastian
@sebastian
07/13/11 08:08:02PM
754 posts

I'd developed fountain chocolates before 2003 - i'd say sephra was the first to really embrace it on a larger scale however.

Also, OCG (old callebaut guys...) has been owned by Cargill for a number of years 8-)

Clay Gordon
@clay
07/14/11 12:25:20PM
1,680 posts

Thanks to everyone for contributing here ... and to Braun for being so open and for making the special offer for his chocolate.

It's discussions like this one that form the reason for my starting TheChocolateLife in the first place: collectively, we know far more than any one of us can.

:: Clay




--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
Braun Ehman
@braun-ehman
07/14/11 05:28:39PM
3 posts

Sebastian, I got a laugh over your reference to OCG (old callebaut guys...). Interestingly enough the jury is still out on what the acronym stands for - officially their name is only OCG ;) OCG was started by several people who broke off from Callebaut, but I am fairly certain thatCargill funded theendeavorand sent a guy(s) over to see OCG have a successful launch. I know this information is pretty accurate, but I wouldn't go quoting me on it. The best way to find out would be to call them. I am sure they would take the time to tell anyone who was curious. After all, who doesn't love to talk about themselves to anyone who will listen and why would a company be any different? :D

BTW - Clay, what a great company name, The Chocolate Life ~ La Vida Cocoa... Brilliant!

Sebastian
@sebastian
07/14/11 07:19:07PM
754 posts
i can pretty confidently say that the scenario you suggest isn't what happened, at least prior to the acquisition 8-) Post acquisition, absolutely Cargill personnel spent time there to ensure things were smooth. In fact, the US based president of the company temporarily moved there during that time.
Amber Fawson
@amber-fawson
07/16/11 10:02:30AM
9 posts
I just had to take a moment to second Clay's note with a big thank you. It has been totally incredible for a newbie like me to have my question addressed so graciously by industry pros/rockstars : ) Thanks, everyone, and thanks, Clay for making a discussion like this possible.
Richard Foley
@richard-foley
07/31/11 01:19:14AM
48 posts
Cargill, Callebaut, ADM, Belcolade. Only Cargill and Callebaut produce from the bean in Belgium. Belcolade buys liquor, and ADM uses its own liquor from other plants. OCG, now Cargill was started by a former Callebaut engineers. The three letters represent initials from their last names I am told.

With enough volume anyone can purchase a proprietary recipe from any one of these big companies, and voila, your own Belgian Chocolate is born.

I think however Belgian Chocolate, as a association or tag or description for your finished products is stale and now so diluted, it has lost it's identity. I believe strongly in the trend of artisans starting their own bean to bar production and standing proud of ones own chocolate creations. There is a real trend out there now and more and more small equipment suppliers are facilitating this bean to bar dream.

The Qzina Institute in Irvine Ca will begin working with bean to bar training and process development starting January 2012, where craftsmen will be able to come and discover the various processes and equipment used for artisanal bean to bar chocolate production.

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