Varega help Gastronomia

The Pope’s visit, Confederations Cup victory and street demonstrations have ensured that Brazil, and Rio de Janeiro in particular, has scarcely been out of the headlines in recent weeks.

It may therefore come as a surprise that business in Rio has continued largely unaffected, while less high profile events have gone unnoticed. One such example we are delighted to report is that of Rio-based chocolatier, Aquim, who last month launched their super-premium brand ‘Q’ in London’s iconic Fortnum and Mason department store.

Aquim Gastronomia, a family concern better known for its events organisation business (  clients include Cartier and Louis Vuitton ) has been helped in its UK venture by MEI associates, Varega Ltd.

Although Brazil is better known for its coffee, cacao trees can be found in a narrow band of Atlantic rainforest in the state of Bahia, in the country’s North East. It is from a single plantation in this region that Samantha Aquim, a French-trained chef, manually selects the raw ingredients that form the basis of the Q chocolate bars.

Q consists only of cocoa solids, cocoa butter and cane sugar: the very antithesis of mainstream chocolate which typically includes milk, vanilla flavouring, emulsifiers and other additives.

Nor is it only the chocolate’s provenance and production process that attracted Fortnum and Mason:  the brand’s colourful packaging features flora and fauna native to this single plantation,and was recently awarded a prestigious Bronze Lion at the 2013 Cannes Design Festival.

The Q range is currently available in 50gm bars and gift boxes exclusively from Fortnum and Mason.

Please contact Varega Ltd. for all enquiries:  www.varega.eu / 01473 722999  

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