Rino Saffioti and his wife Marisa have been making chocolates for more than two decades. Predominantly wholesalers to the retail giant David Jones up until a couple of years ago, they decided it was time to come out from behind closed doors and open up a shop to the public. This was two years in the making while they continued to supply a handful of clients up and down the coast and also in Sydney.
The shop is located on the main street of Haberfield and is a welcomed addition to the small shopping centre. Surrounded by many other Italian eateries and speciality shops they fit right in. The shop is an intimate place where wonderful chocolates, pastries and gelato are beautifully displayed. The coffee is also roasted onsite. Having had the pleasure of eating some of the chocolates over the last few weeks all I can say is” I am hooked”!
I asked Rino and Marisa how they started in the industry and they basically stumbled into it 20+ years ago when Rino was made redundant from his job in the electronics industry and he began helping his wife who was working in a chocolate shop in Drummoyne. They eventually bought that shop, that made chocolates for Myer Department Stores and also to the public. The shop struggled to survive after the buyers from Myer moved to Melbourne which made business negotiations more difficult. The chocolates that were on offer were all made from compound chocolate and most Australian’s were used to the flavour of Cadbury chocolate which dominated the market back then in the early nineties.
So it was through trial and experimentation and constant feedback from their customers that led to the use of couverture chocolate and developing an Easter range for the David Jones brand. After the initial Easter range, David Jones asked Rino and Marisa about what else they could do. From this point on they began to supply David Jones with loose chocolates which were sold individually or were gift boxed.
The range now on offer in their Haberfield shop includes individual chocolates, fruit pastels, maccarons, biscotti and pastries as well as home made gelati, and savoury goodies. Some of the best sellers in the chocolate range include salted caramel, strawberry truffle, spicy tahini and stracciatella.
So next time you’re around the Haberfield area drop into try a chocolate or two and a coffee or one of the other many other wonderful offerings.
Rino Saffioti is open Mon-Sat, 8am-5pm
129 Ramsey St, Haberfield
Ph: 02 97167671