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Derek

A Chocolate Fate

chocolocateteam — 1 year ago

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You could say that Derek Barr is a strong believer in fate. What will be will be. At least that seems to be the way his chocolate trail was laid out. As a young lad he seemed the least likely to be a chocolatier. He had his sights set on the mining and engineering industry. But when the job market dipped at the same time he graduated from University he decided to switch his focus entirely.

Crunch
First detour: the military. With his enrolment date booked Derek was finally sure of the direction his career would take. Then, destiny intervened when his enrolment officer mysteriously stood him up. Out of work and eager to learn, Derek was at a crossroads. So when a local chocolatier offered him an apprenticeship; a chance to learn from his wealth of knowledge, Derek jumped at the opportunity. And so his chocolate trail was set. Singing: "Que sera, sera”.

flowers
Today, Derek’s official, self-inflicted title is ‘Chocolate Barr’s chief dishwasher, floor wiper, candy maker, chocolatier, connectionist, mechanic, machinist and teacher’. Someone has a sense of humor… and isn’t afraid to get their hands dirty, either. You can find Derek elbows deep in a bag of cacao beans, hands on during the entire process from bean to bar. He explains, “Our process is making a bar from scratch. We roast the chocolate then it needs to be cracked, winnowed and liquefied. We really do have a hands on component to it.” With that being said, there’s no need to be intimidated here. Covered in chocolate, Derek is still chatting up customers and joking around with his staff. Although he is a man who wears many hats, he wants people to know the jester’s cap is his favorite. “I want people to come into the store and not only get great service but have a positive memory of the store being fun. Not a place where you feel intimidated, as can sometimes happen in any kind of artisan level of product. I like to keep things very upbeat,” says Derek.

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