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SNACKS & CONFECTIONERY

Burgundy Hospitality brings Royce', Japanese chocolate brand, to India
Monday, 15 July, 2013, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, Mumbai
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Royce’, one of the world’s finest chocolates, makes its way from Japan to the Indian shores this month, with the opening of its flagship store at Palladium in Lower Parel, Mumbai. Burgundy Hospitality, a fine foods venture by Avani Raheja and Samir Gadhok, is the partner for this unique brand of artisanal chocolates in India.

The brand was founded in 1983 in Sapporo, the capital city of Japan’s northernmost island, Hokkaido. Over the years, it has grown from Hokkaido’s best-kept secret to an international phenomenon and offers a wide array of fresh chocolate products that are rich in flavours, textures, complexity and uniqueness.

Royce's signature product is Nama, a cube of truffle-like ganache, which is creamy and moist. Ghana Bitter, Mild Cacao, Champagne and Ecuador Sweet are a few of the flavours. All these varieties are made of fresh cream sourced from the farms near Royce''s factory in Hokkaido.

The brand has also introduced the Criollo Chocolate in India. This is made from Criollo beans, one of the world’s rarest cacao beans sourced all the way from Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela.

Royce’ is also renowned for its quirky novelties like crisp potato chips covered with chocolate, chocolate almonds dusted with bitter cocoa powder, and the Prafeuille Chocolat, which is inspired by the French pastry Mille-feuille, 3mm-thin chocolate squares with gooey fillings of berries.

The brand is not only known for its unique ingredients and approach to chocolate-making, but also for its eye for detail. Each serving of Nama comes with spatula, which is to be used when eating this sensitive chocolate. Every box is packed before it leaves the store in a thermal bag along with a frozen cooling gel pack, to ensure that the product does not melt on your way home.

Avani Raheja, founder, Burgundy Hospitality said, “There are only a handful of brands that garner a religious, cult-like following, Royce’ chocolate is one of these few. When I first tried Royce’, I knew right away that this chocolate was special, and that it must not be kept a secret any longer. Bringing Royce’ to India is our attempt to introduce for the first time in India, truly innovative, high-quality and fresh chocolates, but more importantly we would like to share this secret with other chocolate lovers across the country.”

Samir Gadhok, founder, Burgundy Hospitality, said, “At Burgundy Hospitality, we identify distinct product themes that meet the needs of discerning consumers across the country. Although India is a global agricultural powerhouse on a macro-level, we rarely have access to consistently high-quality world-class ingredients and foods on a micro-level. Indians are chronically underserved when it comes to consistently fresh and well-crafted chocolate. We are excited to fill that void with the launch of Royce’, one of the world’s most revolutionary chocolate experiences.”

The Royce' flagship store has been designed to complement the chocolate brand’s intricate Japanese identity and culture. A box of Royce’ seems deceptively understated and simple, but as one tastes it, the experience is far from simple.

Many of the in-store visual elements, such as the interlace between corian and oak, use this simple complexity as a metaphor for organising themselves within the space.

Talking about the underlying design philosophy, Raheja said, “As the Royce’ brand grows within India we hope to set a new paradigm for taste and design that’s representative of the quality, passion and commitment that the partnership symbolises.”

Gadhok added, “No two Royce’ spaces will be identical in India, and each will have its own unique and expressive characteristics. However, all our stores will evoke a sense of space, luxury and a touch of Japanese quirkiness.”
 
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