Cocobean: a big family led by two wonderful women
Before Theresa Streefland opened Cocobean in early 2008, she’d spent seven months learning the ins and outs of a dedicated chocolatier and crafting our brand now known far and wide.
The mother of three had spent much of her adult life volunteering, and saw Cocobean as an opportunity to make her own mark – which we could all probably agree Theresa’s done!
Theresa now spends a lot of time overseeing the Cocobean kitchen, and stepping in when one of our three permanent chocolatiers are unavailable. Otherwise, you’ll find Theresa managing day-to-day tasks, hanging out at the Cocobean store and dreaming up the next delicious thing.
“I am constantly researching new trends and coming up with new ideas. This needs to happen to keep the brand exciting and fresh,” says Theresa.
“Can’t wait to one day go overseas and check out the chocolate shops in Paris, London, Switzerland and Belgium for even more inspiration.”
Of course, Theresa couldn’t quite have built Cocobean to where it is today without help. Her daughter, Chantelle has been at her side since day one.
“It was awesome having someone I knew and who was excited for what I had begun, to be on my team. Chantelle’s role as Store Manager ended when she became a mum herself and since then we have created a role for her to fit into and she has the flexibility to work her own hours. I owe her that much, I would never have been able to do it on my own,” says Theresa.
Working so closely with a relative spells danger for many, and while this mother-daughter duo admits to having the occasional disagreement, they’ve forged a balanced, professional partnership through good communication.
"Working with mum is great. I love getting the chance to spend time with her in this environment and it's rewarding having the chance to work in the business and get the first hand experience of running one, I feel like it's more rewarding then my past experiences with the work place." Chantelle says.
Chantelle’s own children, aged five and two, have added to Theresa’s expansive family: when she and her 10 siblings organised their mother’s 80th birthday last year in Western Australia, 100 immediate family members attended - with many from overseas unable to make it. Now that’s a lot of chocolate!
Speaking of, we asked Theresa what her favourite Cocobean product is (or if in fact this was even possible!).
“Well that could change every day. Yesterday it was the Florentine, the day before was our amazing Whisky chocolate (we use Lark Whisky in it) and last two weeks ago it was our praline bunnies,” she says.
In case you have a mum with changing taste, we suggest you come in and make up your own selection of Cocobean for Mother’s Day. Otherwise, there are plenty of treats ready to go, plus gift vouchers and cards. You could even bring her in for our famous hot chocolate or lamington dessert jar in the week leading up to the big day (May 14, in case you forgot).
To all the mums out there, we wish you a happy Mother’s Day filled with plenty of cuddles and excellent chocolate. Theresa’s unsure of what she’ll be up to, but maybe Chantelle has something in store…
‘Tis the season to eat chocolate: Easter is upon us and Cocobean is in full swing.
Here’s a bit about what’s been going on in our kitchen, located about ten minutes from our shopfront in Launceston’s CBD, as we prepare for one of the busiest times of the year…
It takes a hop, skip and a jump
Cocobean’s famous Easter Bunnies are smooth, moreish and a total treat.
Each bunny takes about half a day to painstakingly create, so no surprises our fabulous, talented team of chocolatiers began its preparation long ago.
First step is to paint the bunny's distinct, dark features including pupils in the eyes, backpacks, wheelbarrows, flower details, into a mould, which is separated in to halves.
Then we paint the remaining features in white - this includes flowers, scarfs, tails, feet, white’s of the eyes, car wheels and other detail points.
We then paint milk chocolate over the halves to prevent any air bubbles while we are filling them.
Now comes the tricky bit: we join the two halves together and fill with premium milk chocolate, which coats the entire mould.
Any excess chocolate is emptied, then all the bunnies are carefully placed in a fridge. As the bunnies chill, the chocolate separates from the mould.
But, the bunnies need a base don't they? So we pour chocolate across a big bench and sit them on it. Once the base is dry, we cut the bunny free. Because we use the very best chocolate, we're able to re-use what's left on the bench so there's never any wastage.
Then follows some fabulous wrapping and on to the Cocobean shop in George Street for your enjoyment.
There's no mass production, no lines of machinery - just a small team of dedicated Cocobean staff fastidiously crafting dreamy treats by hand.
What goes in to Cocobean bunnies?
We use chocolate from international companies, Felchlin and Callebaut in all our products. It's the best in the world and both organisations work closely with communities to respectfully and ethically source the product.
The difference you're sure to recognise when enjoying Cocobean this Easter, is that we use couverture instead of compound chocolate. Couverture contains coco butter, which is basically liquid gold that melts perfectly at body temperature, which is why when you eat it, it softens immediately. On the other hand, compound chocolate contains vegetable fat, which doesn’t melt as fast and leaves a grainy texture in your mouth.
To achieve our fantastic range of chocolates (think champagne, banana caramel and Jasmine tea), we add flavours and textures using ingredients sourced locally wherever possible.
All you need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt - Charles M Schultz definitely knew what he was talking about when he penned this famous quote. And because we know for a lot of you chocolate is something only consumed on special occasions (Easter, birthdays, 3pm…), we think you should make that little bit really, really good.
So pop in to Cocobean and pick your friends and family something to savour this Easter.
Be sure to place any orders as soon as possible, to ensure you don't miss out on your favourite Cocobean style. If you can't visit our shopfront, visit our online store.
Cocobean chocolate should be stored in a cool dark place to avoid melting. Not that we think you need to worry about this, but bunnies and solid eggs will last up to 12 months if stored correctly.
Eat good chocolate, relax and stay safe
From all of us at Cocobean, we wish you a wonderful Easter. We hope you get the chance to catch up with family and friends, as we celebrate new beginnings, unwind and enjoy good food.
Thank you for your continued support of our business that’s owned and operated by the one big family here in beautiful northern Tasmania.
We’re always here to answer any queries, so feel free to get in touch at any time.
The Cocobean Team