February 2015 Spotlight on Xocolatti!
What is Xocolatti?
Shaineal: We’re Shaineal & Namrata Shah, co-founders of Xocolatti. Xocolatti is a small start-up, luxury, hand-made, New-York made, chocolate company.
Namrata: We try to make chocolates that give you the whole sensory experience, not just taste. We focus on the way it looks; the textures we can use and the colors we can incorporate. Our motto is “Chocolate Reimagined” so we try to incorporate different flavors that normally aren’t associated with chocolate, in a way that’s complementary to chocolate. For example, we have flavors like olive oil basil and sake, which normally you wouldn’t hear about in the market.
What are your favorite flavors?
Shaineal: My favorite chocolate is the passion fruit truffle.
Namrata: And my favorite is the hazelnut clusters. The kind of treat you can just keep eating and eating!
Where does your inspiration come from?
A lot of our chocolates and ideas are inspired by the different places we’ve traveled and cultures we’ve experienced. A lot of our ideas are inspired by our own culture, Indian culture.
How has Jainism influenced your business decisions?
Shaineal: We both are Jain and have grown up not eating eggs or gelatin, so it was easy to not use any of those in our products. It honestly wasn’t a conscious decision to not include eggs or gelatin in our ingredients. It’s just not there.
Namrata: We’re one of few luxury chocolate companies in the U.S. that offer only eggless, gelatin-free products. To be able to do that and compete at the same level, that’s something we’re proud of.
How do you deal with setbacks as a start-up?
Shaineal: Jainism has really helped us deal with other people, other vendors, and just generally growing the business. We try to live by the principle that everything happens for a reason. And that positivity is key. I think there’s a principle that says that if you’re negative than you attract negative energy, and if you’re positive, you attract positive energy. And I think that’s really helped us deal with the stresses of growing a business. It’s much easier to accept something that’s gone wrong when you keep that in mind.
What are some recent successes Xocolatti has enjoyed?
Shaineal: Last year and the year before we were rated amongst the top chocolatiers in the U.S. And just a couple months ago, we were invited to the U.S. Department of State dinner that they held for Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. We invited to offer our slates, which is our thin chocolate bars to the guests at the dinner. We got to meet Vice President Joe Biden, the secretary of state, and…
Namrata: Mukesh Ambani was there, and then Indra Nooyi who was such role model for us. She gave us quite a few inspirational words about our product which was really exciting.
Shaineal: Overall, it was a pretty amazing experience.
What’s on the horizon for Xocolatti?
Shaineal: So our company is now 3 years old, and last year was pretty good for us. We launched in Barney’s[NYC] , in SelfRidges [London], and coming up we’re doing an event for the 100 year anniversary of the Tokyo Station in Japan. We’re pretty excited about that. The goal is to become a global brand.
How can people stay connected with Xocolatti?
Namrata: If you want to know what new things we’re getting into and what flavors we come out with, you can always check up on us on our Facebook page (Xocolatti) or on Instagram and Twitter (@Xocolatti)!