“You have to be a miserable person to be miserable in being a chocolate maker,” denotes our special guest visitor Clay Gordon.
Well said, Clay.
Clay has travelled to Invermere all the way from West Chester County, New York. He and our head chocolate maker Glen Davies are certainly not that — miserable, that is.
Their passion for the cocoa bean fills the air as they excitedly agree to so many chocolaty philosophies and ideas that seem to be pouring out of their eager minds.
Glen drove to Calgary one oddly snowy April day to pick up Clay from the airport. Their entire drive through the mountains was moonlit, wintery and buzzing with the shared passion of chocolate making and chocolate eating. They returned back to Invermere and spent the entire week together experimenting with chocolate, talking shop and planning for a great future.
Invermere’s Wild Mountain Chocolate, which is Glen and his wife Helen’s start-up premier chocolate shop, is about to take flight and Clay is here to see that they soar.
Clay Gordon’s Story
Clay brings with him a plethora of experience from all across the board; from a degree in fine arts, to radio broadcasting, to IT technology, to chocolate critiquing and finally to his resting place, which is establishing himself as a highly sought after international chocolate consultant.
In 1994 (way back!) Clay had attended a multimedia conference where he was introduced to the concept of origin chocolate — chocolate bars in which the beans used in the bars are from a single origin, such as Ecuador, Madagascar, etc.
As a person who thrives on communicating complex subjects to the general public in a way that they can understand and relate to, Clay brings with him a vat of experience and knowledge of what makes a chocolate company great.
Clay, who was a chocolate critic turned chocolate consultant, says that nobody is going to pay for your opinion about chocolate. Chocolate is unlike wine, there is no collector mentality and it doesn’t improve with age. His description of what makes great chocolate is actually personal, not intellectual.
“I have always been a forward thinking person,” he says. “And one of the things I learned in art school is to always trust your intuition.”
And that goes for chocolate too.
What We Learned
We are destined for greatness — that is what we learned.
While working together in the brightly coloured oranges walls that is the Wild Mountain Chocolate shop, Clay enlightened Glen on how to make Wild Mountain Chocolate competitive.
Start with a quality product — check. Our chocolate bars are single origin; they are from sustainable organic farms that support the livelihood of farmers and the local economy. The flavour of the chocolate is true to the bean. The chocolate bars are crafted in smaller batches and the chocolate is consistent, creamy and flavourful.
Our shop is one of a large-scale production, and our idea of wild is true to the Kootenay lifestyle. We ski, we bike, we stand-up paddleboard and we explore. We want to protect our world and our environment from harm, all the while having fun and enjoying the finer things in life — such as delicious chocolate … and beer … and bread … and …
Sounds like a perfect pairing to me.
Simply continue to create a high-quality product and have fun with it, Clay tells us. There is no limit to where we may go next — keep your eyes peeled for chocolate-flavoured beer, hot chocolate, coffee-infused bars, energy bars, trail mix and many other chocolaty surprises.
“We’re blowing up the box and we’re putting our box back together in a wild way,” says Clay of the opportunities and potential that will come of Wild Mountain Chocolate.
Chocolate is fun, and we want you to have fun eating it!