Our 2020 graduate of the International Wine & Spirits Management MBA, Julie Callet, embarked, in September 2019, on creating her own business ‘L’Entre Coeur Chocolat’, which combines her passion for wine and for chocolate. Interview.
Julie Callet, from Uzès in the Gard, is a determined person who knows what she wants. During her first MBA year, she would have the Vatel Bordeaux staff taste her home-made chocolates, both dark and milk, which pair well with wine. Soon enough, her project became concrete, and she managed to sustain the idea of setting up her own business after presenting it as her main thesis theme. In the space of 15 days, she delivered 300 boxes of chocolate, which will be offered to the staff and partners of Vatel Bordeaux as part of an initiative by Régis Glorieux, President and Founder of Vatel Bordeaux.
Let’s recount with her the start of her inspiring adventure, discuss her perspectives, and understand her personal drivers: pleasure, subtlety and commitment to the planet.
My main memories at Vatel Bordeaux? All my encounters and the support I derived from them.
How did the idea of ‘L’Entre Cœur Chocolat’ start? Who is part of the adventure?
I am a big food lover, practically an epicurean. I love chocolate and I love good wine. I started my studies with a vocational degree in pastry. I then realised that chocolate offers a lot of possibilities and that it’s the ideal space for creativity, which appealed to me a lot. So I decided to combine those two passions in my project.
I chose the name ‘L’Entre Cœur Chocolat’, ‘l’entre-coeur’ being the name of the secondary branch of a grapevine that grows on a bud. The name is also about emotions, femininity and delicacy.
My internship mentor, pastry and chocolate chef Mr Abel Pereira, who supervised my pastry vocational degree’s internship, also oversaw my project. We work together as a real team and we complete each other, he is a backbone for me.
My dad is a wine producer and he owns the Domaine de Coudoulis, a 28-hectare domain in Côtes du Rhône (Lirac). It is located on the left bank of the Rhône valley. Thanks to my dad, I get my supply of red and white wine, to make the chocolate.
You are a graduate of Vatel Bordeaux which will offer your chocolates to its staff and its partners for Christmas and also offered to sell them at their gourmet store at Tables Vatel restaurant.
It gives me great pleasure to see that Tables Vatel are supporting me. This will give my chocolates great visibility in Bordeaux and also attract people from other nearby regions too.
What is your best memory at Vatel Bordeaux?
(Without hesitating) All the encounters I made!
Staff members such as Christophe Coulomme, Director of Corporate Relations
The castles owners whenever we visited them, for instance at château Laubade who greeted us with great warmth
Teachers, for instance Tracey Dobbin who helped me prepare for the WSET III, the training program that remains the ideal pathway to becoming a wine professional in the world. She is very inspiring, a holder of Master of Wine title and she has great knowledge and a remarkable path. She has a philosophy that consists of saying that we should never let go even if we had trouble figuring out certain things. « You will succeed eventually », she used to tell us
My classmates out of whom some became close friends who support me every day.
I also thank all the teachers and staff of Vatel Bordeaux who supported me.
My unusual chocolates can be enjoyed and also offered.
What makes your chocolates so distinctive?
My chocolates are distinctive for the following reasons:
– Their unique flavors: they are crafted with tannic and full wine, from the Rhône valley. Red wine is paired with dark chocolate and white wine with milk chocolate, and we are always seeking the appropriate mix between wine and chocolate. It’s all about the right balance between the quantities of cocoa and the wine characteristics. These are not liquor-filled chocolates!
– Their texures: they are crisp and melt-in-your-mouth at the same time.
My chocolates are a treat for the palate, delicately flavored and visually pleasant, flavored with well-balanced and subtle components, which makes them refined products of prime quality.
My pastry chef defines them in 3 words: pleasure, delicacy and wine.
What are your plans in the near future or in the future?
In the near future, I intend to boost my communication strategy and create my brand’s website, and enhance my packaging. I’d like to present my chocolates in a totally recyclable and reusable wooden box, with the logo of the shop marked on it to give it a refined and ecological feel.
I also plan very soon to start using other wine brands in making my chocolate, and work with small producers in the hope of achieving visibility for both of our businesses. I am very keen on applying an ethical and eco-friendly approach in my work and I will make sure that wine producers start adopting an organic winegrowing method (biodynamic).
In the future, I’d like to open a store to sell my products and create tailored assortments crafted for each of my partners. I would love it if, one day, one of my clients could choose their bespoke wine & chocolate pairing.
Régis Glorieux Prresident & Founder of Vatel Bordeaux: an initiative I was very eager to launch!
“Chocolates are a long-standing tradition during the end-of-year holidays. There are numerous brands I know off. But the chocolates I chose to offer to my co-workers (employees and teachers) and partners of Vatel Bordeaux stand out from the rest.
‘L’Entre Cœur Chocolat’ is a chocolate crafted by our alumni Julie Callet, a 2020 MBA International Wine & Spirits Management graduate.
By doing so, I show support to our former Vatel students who turned entrepreneurs.”