Arabian Knight meets Ester Crameri to find out more about Switzerland’s famous chocolatier Sprüngli and the secret behind its success
Confiserie Sprüngli’s first boutique and café outside of Switzerland has been set up in Dubai, UAE, and it’s already abuzz with business.
Who is going to Sprüngli for a sweet treat? Turns out it’s a growing number of who’s who, who will not be named here due to the store’s strict discretion policies. Sprüngli is the Rolls-Royce Phantom of chocolates – smooth, select, an institution in itself and fit for the discerning connoisseur.
And what sets it apart?
David Sprüngli and his son established the Sprüngli & Sohn confectionery business in Zurich, Switzerland, way back in 1836. Sprüngli continues to be a family business today, with some of the secret recipes going back as far as six generations.
Sprüngli chocolates are famous around the world for their exquisite taste and extraordinary quality. These artisan chocolates and hand-made delicacies were previously only available through private appointment and mail order, but growing demand prompted the opening of its first boutique and café in the region, in the Village Mall, Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah 1 in Dubai.
“When we were looking for a location for our shop, the list of requirements was exhaustive,” explains Ester Crameri, General Manager of Sprüngli Middle East. “Because the company’s chocolates and confectionery are made without preservatives, they are extremely sensitive to changes in temperature, meaning that freely-available basement parking was essential. For the same reasons, the shop had to be centrally located, so the chocolates can be brought home as quickly as possible.”
“It was also imperative for us to find a location which is easily accessible by the local community, hence our decision to choose a site near the historical Jumeirah mosque. Also, being just another new chocolate shop in an impersonal mall was definitely not an option for us, hence our choice of location,” she says.
FIT FOR A GOURMAND
No preservatives are used in Sprüngli’s chocolates, only the finest ingredients are picked from around the world, and even the packaging is controlled to ensure bio-degradability and quality.
Sprüngli chocolates do not contain any vegetable fat, which is used by many other chocolate producers to prolong the shelf life of their chocolates. They only use pure, natural cocoa butter to enhance the taste and quality of their chocolate specialities.
Although the boutique and café has been set up in Dubai, the chocolates sold are made in Switzerland and air-shipped to the emirate.
The store offers a wide variety of mostly dark chocolate, melt-in-the-mouth goodies, with a touch of nuts here and a kiss of praline there. The Sprüngli assortment available to the local market ranges from pralines and world-famous truffles to ‘Luxemburgerli’ and a variety of sweet pastries. Luxemburgerlis are melt-in-the-mouth mini-macaroons with delicious fillings, which have become not just a symbol of Confiserie Sprüngli, but also an emblem for Zurich. This speciality, developed more than 50 years ago, has been constantly refined and improved with time.
All Sprüngli products are still lovingly made by hand using traditional techniques and the best and freshest ingredients from all over the world.
Over the centuries, the creators of the Sprüngli delicacies have travelled the world searching for the finest ingredients and have created a perfect balance between a variety of rare Venezuelan cocoa beans, Swiss Alpine milk, combined with the finest almonds from Valencia in Spain, hazelnuts and deliciously smooth gianduja from the renowned nut-producing region of Piemonte in Italy.
HAVE A SPRÜNGLI WEDDING
“Sprüngli has done some phenomenal weddings in the last few years,” says a positively beaming Crameri, “and some of them have been dream Indian weddings at the luxurious Umaid Bhawan Palace. One-and-a-half years ago, we also did little treasure boxes for guests at a royal wedding in the Middle East.
“But we want to do a lot more than just gift boxes for our customers in the region,” insists Crameri. “We would love to be part of the weddings themselves, to have a dialogue with the client and tailor-make our offerings to guests’ preferences.
“We can bring out our giant golden ‘chocolatiera’, a special machine in the style of a samovar, which dispenses smooth hot chocolate. We can personalise the flavours, with cardamoms and rose petals.”
“We can do live truffle making, where we work with guests’ whims and fancies. We also have a counter with chocolates displayed in large, classy silver bowls, and of course, the cakes – from chocolate to truffle and back!”
Sprüngli has a wealth of ideas when it comes to celebrating other special events such as Ramadan and Eid, and unique corporate gifts, she says.
All Sprüngli chocolates can be personalised to each specific customer’s requirements, from unique packaging to a company logo or a name on the chocolate itself.
“If you take pride in having an appreciation of the finer things in life, you will find that Sprüngli is indeed a class apart,” Crameri concludes.
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