ASK A CHOCOLATIER
Meet Anne Sellmer, owner and chead chocolatier of Calgary’s award-winning Cochu Chocolates.
How did you become a chocolatier?
I was a stay-at-home mom to three boys for 13 years. We were always encouraging our kids to do what they love and one day my youngest asked me, “Mom, are you doing what you love?” This made me think about launching a second career. After taking a chocolate course at SAIT, I fell in love with making chocolate and the more I learned, the more I fell in love.
When did you open your brick-and-mortar shop?
We opened in June 2022. I had been running my business since 2017 out of a commercial kitchen in my basement, but demand was high and I couldn’t expand due to limited space.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
For a chocolatier in general, the challenge is not to get frustrated when something doesn’t work. The job requires resilience and perseverance. When we make mistakes, we all gather around to investigate why. Mistakes are good around here because they make us better.
What inspires your flavours?
I think about eating all day, every day. I am constantly thinking about flavour combinations.
Is all chocolate created equal?
No. Pay attention to the ingredients and try to purchase good quality chocolate. Inexpensive chocolate often doesn’t deliver a lasting flavour. Sustainability is also a big concern. All our chocolate comes from farmers with programs that pay attention to sustainability and sourcing.
How should we store chocolate?
Avoid the fridge because chocolate absorbs flavours. It is best enjoyed at room temperature.
When melting chocolate, should we use bars or chips?
I actually prefer couverture [chocolate made with a higher percentage of cocoa butter] because it tastes and looks better. Use your microwave at 30-second intervals and stir in between.
What are your top sellers?
Our candy bark and sponge toffee are bestsellers. For bon bons, it’s the Gin and Tonic.
Do you have a current favourite?
I love the Dark Chocolate ‘Racha bark (made with Sriracha).