‘Bean-to-bar’ chocolate maker finds niche in K-W
Tim Simpson, co-owner of Waterloo’s Ambrosia Pastry Co., best describes his business as a “bean to bar, artisan chocolate maker.”
“That’s where we are currently; in six months it may change a little bit because we have new ideas, but certainly that’s what I would say,” said Simpson.
The Ambrosia Pastry Co. is a young baking company founded by Simpson and Aura Hertzog that started out with a large selection of products.
After opening this past February, the company has already seen an evolution in finding their niche in the Kitchener-Waterloo business community.
“We started off as wanting to be a well-rounded pastry shop… chocolate was a side thing [that] started off small but now has become the main focus of the business,” Simpson explained.
Instead of a basic approach to chocolate production with generic brands, Ambrosia offers a much wider and more exotic selection.
Ambrosia differentiates from other chocolatiers and pastry shops because their business manufactures the chocolate right in the store, creating bars out of fresh cocoa beans. Taking beans from all over the world, including Bolivia and Ecuador, Ambrosia has found success with by promoting their chocolate as exotic and unique.
Simpson was torn about the store’s most popular chocolate bar.
‘It’s hard to say, when we first started our Madagascar and our Peruvian bar … now we’re up to about 12 different bar” he said “They’re like your children, you love them all for different reasons.”
“They all have their own interesting things that they showcase.”
While some may view the business as just a regular pastry shop still, the uniqueness of their approach has led Ambrosia to strong levels of community support in less than a year in business.
“It’s been very great. There’s not too many chocolate makers in North America,” Simpson said. “It’s just a small thing, kind of a growing thing, so people seem to be excited to have their own chocolate maker in the city.”
“It’s been very well.”
Ambrosia also creates a wide range of cookies with traditional French and Italian varieties.
They are also expanding into creating cakes and tarts.With success apparent so far, Simpson made it clear that there is still much more to come from the Ambrosia Pastry Co.
“We hope to expand and grow the business in the next six months to a year, change slightly a few different things and become a bit more than just a chocolate maker,” he said.
“But certainly chocolate will be one of our main highlights of our business.”