Just One More…

Click to view in E-Magazine | Click to view Brochure

-By Kristy Attard

Young or old, everyone loves chocolate… that smooth, velvety texture, the irresistible melt in your mouth sensation. Chocolate is a sweet part of the holidays; Easter just wouldn’t be Easter without an egg hunt in the backyard for the kids. Chocolate is just as good at Christmas; a box of chocolates makes the perfect gift. The sweet thrill of chocolate will always appeal to the big kid inside all of us. And with an uncompromising commitment to quality, Heritage Fine Chocolates has had chocoholics everywhere making that futile promise “just one more” for 26 years.

Heritage Fine Chocolates has been in business since 1985, blending imagination and inspiration with chocolate, creating pure bliss. “All Heritage products are Australian made at a facility in Rowville Victoria, so we are proudly Australian owned and Australian made,” says Commercial Manager Rodney Heath. Heritage is renowned for the quality and design of its products, winning over 60 medals at the Sydney and Melbourne Royal Shows. Over 20 of these medals have been gold. Heritage products are distributed to leading retailers throughout Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia. Customers can buy Heritage products at Big W, Coles, David Jones, Kmart, Priceline, Target, Myer and Woolworths – so a chocolatey buzz is never far away.

Heritage recognises that there is far more to chocolate than meets the eye. Chocolate has a rich history spanning several centuries. First enjoyed by the Aztec, Inca and Mayan people, chocolate was consumed as a drink flavoured with chillies. Cacao beans were highly valuable and used as currency. Chocolate eventually spread to Europe where it was reserved for royalty. The Spanish added sugar to sweeten the bitter beverage, flavouring it with spices. The Industrial Revolution had a huge impact, allowing the mass production of solid chocolate. Hailed in turns as an aphrodisiac and a health food, chocolate has continued to evolve throughout the ages. It has taken many years to create chocolate as we recognise it today. Heritage Fine Chocolates takes great pride in celebrating the tradition of chocolate making with its decadent delights.

The Heritage master chocolatiers use Callebaut chocolate imported from Europe to create some of the most heavenly treats imaginable; sipping chocolate for an afternoon treat, gourmet eggs, assortment boxes perfect for sharing. “We have many recipes that we’re able to draw upon from the Callebaut organisation,” explains Mr Heath. “Milk, dark and white are the three main varieties and then we have some quite high brow recipes, our premium recipes, being our Belgian and Swiss range. Then we have our wonderful everyday chocolate that we call ‘the tastiest chocolate in the world.'”

When developing new products, “the inspiration can come from any source, especially in this day and age where you no longer have just a rabbit or a Santa at Easter or Christmas – you can have a bear or an angel or a hen.” Heritage looks internationally for product ideas; “We travel a lot to road shows and trade shows throughout Europe and some of Asia,” says Mr Heath. “We’re very aware of some of the more recent icons that are out there in the marketplace and we try and replicate those for the children.”

Heritage has something to tempt everyone’s tastebuds, from creamy white chocolate rabbits to honeycomb eggs. Try something from the delectable nut free selection that makes life easy and delicious for nut allergy sufferers. If you fancy a guilt-free chocolate indulgence there is a delicious certified Fair Trade range. Coffee lovers, go crazy; the coffee flavoured eggs are sensational. Speaking of coffee, drop into the Heritage Chocolatte Shop and take a break from the everyday grind. Meet up with friends, kick back and enjoy a coffee while you take your pick of sumptuous chocolates, cakes and ice cream. Open 7 days a week, the Heritage Chocolatte Shop is the perfect place for casual or corporate events, and holds up to 100 people.

Heritage aims to create unique, high quality products in an efficient, cost effective manner by motivating employees to see the company succeed. All products are manufactured in a fully HACCP accredited facility. This is where all the magic happens; it’s a fascinating process to see the chocolatey creations coming to life under the watchful eye of the chocolatiers. Mr Heath comments, “While we are a seasonal business, what people possibly don’t realise is we are busy all year round. Just because we’re only on show 20-25 weeks of the year doesn’t mean we are not working feverishly to bring that product range to market. If anything, it’s even more pressurised because we have to gain the orders, then build the stock, then deliver the stock inside quite narrow windows to all of the retailers throughout Australia… but our supply base has been with us for a very long time, we are loyal to them.” Maintaining positive business relationships is a priority at Heritage. “We are quite obscure or peculiar if you like in our business profile in that we demand foils, shapes and mould sets as well as particular box sizes. We have to be able to trust and rely on the people around us and work to quite aggressive deadlines; we need people who understand our business to work with us and we do have a wonderful crew of suppliers.”

The chocolate industry is fiercely competitive and “the mouth is a really powerful and potent piece of the selling equation.” Heritage aims to strengthen its position in the market by working together with consumers to create innovative products with a definite ‘wow’ factor. Chocolate is an “affordable luxury” in troubled financial times, with demand skyrocketing around the holidays. At Heritage, 90 per cent of business surrounds the Easter and Christmas periods.

Easter is synonymous with chocolate, with Heritage one of the largest players, second only to Cadbury. “Of course, we’re a very large player for children’s celebrations at Easter time and you’ll find us being a part of just about every egg hunt in some shape or form,” comments Mr Heath. Heritage Fine Chocolates has an impressive range of over 300 Easter products perfect for family get togethers. “My personal favourite,” says Mr Heath, “would have to be one of our hollow novelty rabbits called the Bonza Bunny. I think he’s wonderfully named as an Australian icon, the Bonza Bunny. He’s a large fellow… he’s a 400 gram rabbit and he’s a very jolly fellow. I love consuming his ears and then his head, face and body.”

People may complain about commercialisation overriding the true meaning of Easter but consider this; chocolate eggs and rabbits symbolise new life and hope, as well as an invitation to share. Open a Heritage egg casket this Easter; “they are wonderful Swiss and Belgian offers in our premium space that are available for mainly adult to adult gifting.” Give yourself a moment to reflect on what Easter means as you enjoy the smooth sweetness of Heritage Fine Chocolates.

At Christmas, it can be hard to know what to buy for relatives and friends. Heritage takes the hassle out of gift giving with 40 divine Christmas products that are a pleasure to give and receive. There is “a very delightful range of boxed chocolates” perfect for the office Kris Kringle and unexpected guests popping around. Buy a box for yourself too and take a break from the hectic season. The good news is these boxed chocolates are available year-round so you can enjoy the silky smooth Heritage taste anytime.

After receiving numerous consumer letters, Heritage is moving towards having a greater year-round presence in the future. “The greatest challenge is trying to be a sustainable and profitable manufacturing hub inside Australia with all the legislation and all of the difficulty surrounding the major supermarkets.” Manufacturers in the food retailing space need to be acutely aware of the need to build and sustain their own brands and their own name. Heritage does make a number of private labels for the major supermarkets and third party manufacturers, but real success has come from investing and expanding the Heritage brand footprint. Mr Heath says, “I would like to acknowledge all of the people that have helped Heritage become the very robust business that it is today in its segment of the marketplace. We look forward to the future and continue to challenge ourselves through innovation that will sustain us and be our life blood into the future and beyond.”

Making Sense of Management

Management is the art, or science, of getting things done through people. Sounds fairly straightforward – except for the fact that people are not robots waiting to do our bidding. People have their own minds, motivations, and goals. So how do managers keep operations – and the people behind them – running as planned?

December 19, 2018, 5:32 PM AEDT