This month, #madeatMIDAS features Sam Lazenby and Hollie Wheeler, and their business, Nelson’s Chocofellar. Recently, the chocolatiers, in need of a new mould, unique to their brand looked to the equipment and expertise at MIDAS. Sam & Hollie and their popular business are a great example of how the MIT-certified MIDAS digital fabrication laboratory, or “Fab Lab” can address a specific need a business might have to give it a unique, custom-made edge.
MIDAS is geared to support all manner of entrepreneur development: collaborating and adopting state-of-the-art technology to create the products needed to evolve and grow a business.
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Established in April of 1990, Nelson’s Chocofellar emerged from the hopes and dreams of co-founder, Sam, who was looking to create something from his lifelong love and passion for chocolate. Having recently moved to Nelson, the couple loved the area and were keen to create something that would support themselves and the family they were planning.
28 years, two children, and thousands of kilograms of chocolate later, the pair continues to pursue their dream, providing the Kootenays with delicious quality handmade chocolates , novelties and chocolate bars. Their aim is to create the finest chocolates using the highest quality of ingredients we can find, some local organic, specialty flavourings from Europe. Modest about their contributions to the industry of chocolate, Nelson’s Chocofellar is proud of their their accomplishments, gracing many a special occasion in the Kootenays and the world over.
Many of the Chocofellar processes have remained unchanged from the traditional European Chocolatier. All the work is hand done, the products hand-wrapped, and every batch is sampled faithfully by the team and any willing volunteer passing by.
Sam and Hollie have worked hard to keep Nelson’s Chocofellar a size that fits their lifestyle in Nelson – sometimes easier said than done! But, when it comes to chocolate, the Chocofellar team operates under the belief that it is one of the four basic food groups and creates quality product to support that belief, providing their clientele with consistently divine chocolate to tempt any palette.
While the processing and presentation of chocolate may have changed over the centuries, the sentiment of the ancient Aztec people carries on: a gift of divine origins.
Creating the chocolate mould
In anticipation of the 30th anniversary of the Capitol Theatre in Nelson, she approached Nelson’s Chocofellar for something special to help celebrate. She suggested they consider a distinctive chocolate with a mould that would be specific to the theatre.
In previous conversations with MIDAS Lab Director, Brad Pommen, Hollie had discussed what possibilities might be available for creating unique moulds at the Fab Lab. The anniversary request was the perfect opportunity to revisit the conversation.
Brad was, of course, intrigued and keen on exploring design and manufacturing processes to create a mould that was the right size and could be handled easily while standing up to the rigours of repetitive use. Hollie provided him an outline of things to be considered when working with moulds and chocolate and he took it from there.
Brad created a couple of prototypes and refined the mould until it was just right. The celebratory anniversary mould for the 30th Anniversary of the Capitol Theatre was complete!
Hollie and Sam enjoyed their experience with this project and MIDAS thoroughly enjoyable and it’s opened up many other possibilities for creating unique moulds, particularly when it comes to custom designs for special occasions, making them just that little bit more special!
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