One of the wonderful things about Stirling is the variety of individual businesses to discover as you wander the streets and laneways. One recent arrival has quickly become established as a firm favourite among locals and visitors alike. We asked Marcus Booth-Remmers how Red Cacao became flavour of the month in Stirling and beyond…
What made you want to become a chocolatier?
I started with patisserie training and this includes a chocolate making component. Straight away I loved the intricacy, technical skills and fine detail involved. Chocolate making needs a lot of discipline and patience, but it also gives me the chance to be creative and push the boundaries
What would you have done otherwise?
Do you have a sweet tooth?
Yes definitely! I would happily eat chocolate for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
How come you’re so skinny?
I don’t know. It might have something to do with all the hard work and stress of starting up a new business! Also, my preference is for dark chocolate, which contains less sugar and has other health benefits.
Where did you learn your craft?
I undertook my basic patisserie training in Australia and then fine-tuned this in Germany, France and Belgium. All up I spent 5 years in Europe learning on the job in patisseries and chocolatiers. When I arrived back in Australia in October 2012 I recognised an opportunity to establish a chocolatier business in Adelaide. Initially I started at farmers’ markets and the response to the chocolates was so positive I decided to take the plunge and establish a retail business.
What made you decide to open Red Cacao in Stirling?
I grew up in the Adelaide Hills and have always loved the environment and the people here. To me Stirling represents the pinnacle and the class of the Hills so I really hand-picked Stirling as the location for Red Cacao. It’s a beautiful village with a sense of style, and is the perfect match for my chocolates. We were lucky enough to secure premises with a garden frontage, which is what Stirling is all about.
What is your favourite chocolate in your range?
I like our single origin bars. The cacao beans are grown in a single location and not blended, so just like with wine you get to appreciate the taste of the region and even seasonal variations in the cacao beans. I personally tend to enjoy 70% cocoa content or higher in my favourite single origin chocolate bars.
What is your best selling product?
Our salted caramel truffles are extremely popular, as is anything salted caramel in our range. We even have a salted caramel hot chocolate on our Spring menu.
What’s the strangest chocolate you’ve ever come across?
I tried one with wasabi in Germany, which actually tasted quite good.
What’s your ultimate goal?
We’re still in the start-up phase of the business and it’s very hands on, so I’m currently focussed on getting through to Christmas and then having a day off!
Have you won any awards?
We were a finalist in the Restaurant & Catering Associations Awards for Excellence as a Specialty Restaurant in 2014, which was judged in our first year of operation so we are pretty happy with that!
What’s the Red in Red Cacao all about?
Cacao beans start off green and then progress through yellow, orange and then most ripen as red. Cacao is the European way of saying cocoa and is a nod to my training and ties to Europe.
Where do your customers come from?
We have lots of regulars from Stirling and the Adelaide Hills, but we’re starting to be a day-trip destination to people down the hill, especially on the weekends. We’re also finding that we are drawing an increasing number of interstate and even overseas visitors, which is great!