Award-winning chocolatier Emanuel Andrén grew up in the small town of Lilla Edet, Sweden, southwest of Stockholm. Andrén’s family history in the area can be traced to 1868 when his grandmother’s grandfather began creating delicious artisan breads and pastries for the local area. Indeed, many of Andrén’s fondest childhood memories are of his grandmother and father baking breads, pies, cakes and confections as he assisted with the daily tasks and running of the family bakery.
Your family has been creating breads and pastries for generations. Did you always know you would follow that path?
As a young student, I developed a keen sense for craftsmanship and an affinity for the arts and design. But when I completed my studies, I decided to pursue a career in marketing and advertising. After working in this field for a few years, I found myself drawn back to Lilla Edet and my family’s historic business. I was determined to use my talents in art and design to express myself in sugar and flour rather than in more traditional media. Before long I was working alongside my father, Manne, using creams and fillings to create exquisite wedding cakes and delectable pastries.
How did you develop your passion for chocolate?
I felt driven to find new releases for my creative energy and my desire to learn new pastry techniques. While I was pursuing additional education in confections, my passion for chocolate took hold. Cooking delicious creamy truffles and creating artistic shapes and forms from chocolate was, for me, the perfect combination of art, design and taste. Each confection was a chance to develop something new and exciting. Inspired by this new passion, I began to seek out opportunities to produce and sell praline confections and gourmet marmalades.
How were you able to satisfy your desire to find new outlets for your creative energies?
In 2002, with the help of a colleague with marketing expertise, I launched Ganache AB with a sales outlet in the nearby downtown of Trollhättan. After two years, I sensed the potential to produce and distribute my products throughout Sweden and abroad. So I closed my store to focus on producing, marketing and distributing my unique creations around the world.
Please describe your approach to creating your chocolate masterpieces.
Every ingredient I use is natural – fruits, berries, cheeses, herbs, tobacco and liquor – selected for distinctive flavor and quality to heighten the chocolate experience. To me, flavors and design are infused. I bring together art and taste into a moment of pure joy – an explosion of taste. In addition, my patrons know they are getting a truly unique creation because, even today, every chocolate is hand-painted by me.
How has your creativity and business evolved?
Today I work with my wife and two children by my side, just as members of my family have done for generations. Each day provides a new opportunity for creative developments in taste, experimental flavors and design. The business, the products and my passion for art and chocolate have been part of a larger evolution around confections and the chocolate industry. I maintain my roots with the traditional family bakery in Lilla Edet, but my pralines and confections now enjoy a wide following. My products have been enjoyed by the Emperor of Japan, The Royal Family of Sweden, the stars of the 50th Grammy Awards and many chocolate lovers around the globe. For all of this, my family and I are truly grateful.