With American Chocolate Week coming to a close, our thoughts turn to luscious, decadent chocolates. Who better to share his expertise than Christophe Van Riet? As founder of the web business Nirvana Chocolates and the wholesale company Belgium’s Chocolate Source, Van Riet understands the hypnotic power of silken dark chocolate and the intoxication that comes with biting into the sweet, melt-in-your-mouth perfection of an Aztec spicy truffle or a milk nougatine.
No matter the season, American Chocolate Week or not, Van Riet makes chocolate dreams come true with tantalizing confections like nut-shaped pralines, milk chocolate mendiants, snow truffles with champagne ganache, dark raspberry romances, or milk smoked sea salt caramels. What a lucky man to work day-in and day-out with imported artisanal Belgian chocolates, made fresh with all-natural ingredients by his chocolatiers in workshops near famed Brugge, Belgium.
With a marketing background and brand management experience at Colgate-Palmolive and The Gillette Company, Van Riet knew he wanted to start his own business. ”Since I was originally from Belgium, I wanted to import something from my home country and develop an international business.” When he launched in 1998, ”We decided to bring in the finest quality Belgian chocolates.” Several tasting trips later, Van Riet had developed Nirvana Chocolates exclusively for the United States retail market.
Demand for his products rose, and the business expanded from web sales into distribution to high-end specialty shops and food chains like Whole Foods across the country.
As the internet has continued to change and grow, so too has Van Riet’s import chocolate business. With a virtual storefront on Amazon, customers can take advantage of Amazon Prime benefits for free shipping on hand-crafted chocolates and bars. “We’ve seen incredible growth in our business because of it.”
All-natural ingredients, hand-crafted selections, mouth-watering flavors – what more could a chocolate lover want? At their retail website, Nirvana offers select-your-own boxes of chocolate, designed to perfectly suit your tastes. The website allows you to select chocolates, visually assemble your chocolate box, and place your order for home or business delivery.
And if you are a diehard chocoholic or home chef, www.chocolatesource.com offers a myriad of options to satisfy your sweet tooth whenever you need it.