About this project
We believe that the Dutch have the most delicious tradition in the world: chocolate on bread. And now we want share this tradition and bring those damn fine chocolate chunks from Amsterdam to New York and then to the rest of the world.
Gerbrand Slag was probably the most innovative chocolatier in Amsterdam in the 17th century. Due to the Spanish occupation, Amsterdam was the most important harbor for cacao trade worldwide. In those days cacao was a luxury product, mostly consumed as a hot beverage. But Gerbrand Slag was no ordinary chocolate maker, he was the most talented and most ambitious chocolatier – in retrospect, he was a visionary. Gerbrand did what no one had done before, he made a chocolate product for everyday use: hagelslag – chocolate sprinkles on bread.
But with his invention came the scorn of his fellow chocolate makers. They weren’t looking for innovation and a product for every simple man. Criticizing the stubbornness of the Dutch he packed his bags, made a large batch of hagelslag and set sail to New Amsterdam, which later became known as the city of New York. But his bad luck didn’t stay behind; with the shore of the Promised Land in sight his ship – The Prince Maurits - sank. Gerbrand survived but the hagelslag did not. And that’s why the world knows our beers and our cheeses but not our beloved chocolate sprinkles on bread.
The story of Gerbrand Slag inspired us and sent us on a mission:
We want to finish what Gerbrand started: bring those damn fine chocolate chunks from Amsterdam to New York and then to the rest of the world.
In the 17th century Gerbrand invented his first chocolate sprinkles by cutting rough blocks of top notch chocolate into small chunks. That's why we gave Hagelswag this rough and though traditional treatment. Hagelswag chunks contain 55% cacao and taste damn good on a slice of bread with a thick layer of butter. Every bottle contains an estimated 258 grams of premium chocolate, enough to cover fifteen slices of bread - depending on your craving for chocolate of course... Don't worry if you run low on Hagelswag, we have a 500 gram refill pack available to refill your bottle twice!
Gerbrand Slag only worked with the best ingredients. In his spirit we created Hagelswag with the finest cacao beans, natural bourbon vanilla and 100% pure cacao butter.
The well-balanced chunks are made of premium Fairtrade chocolate. When we say we create the best available chocolate experience on bread, we mean the best experience for everybody. So buying a bottle of Hagelswag helps small-scale farmers in developing countries with a better income.
In 1656 Gerbrand packed his bags and made a big batch of Hagelslag, before setting sail to New Amsterdam (New York). In those days it wasn't unusual for spices and herbs to be shipped in big empty wines and coffee bottles. The shape of the iconic bottle is inspired by the way the very first hagelslag was shipped. Our Dutch Design bottle has its own characteristic squircle shape (square nor circle) and is finished with a perforated cork. We use a canvas cord to give the bottle its 17th century finish.
After more than a year of trying, failing, learning and trying again, we have a beautiful batch of prototypes. Now we are ready for the next step: upscaling and optimizing our production, so the whole world can enjoy Hagelswag.
We're Dutch so we'll spend every dollar wisely! That's why we made a financial breakdown so you can see what investments we'll do with the funds we gather:
Risks and challenges
We teamed up with the best partners to create a new product according to an old tradition. But as always with the creation of a new product there are risks and challenges.
We tested the whole production method with a batch of 20 kilograms. If we succeed in raising the funds we’ll have to scale to at least 450 kilograms. In theory this should be no problem at all, but if things don’t go as planned, it could take a longer time to process the chocolate.
But our biggest challenge is not the production of Hagelswag, it’s the fulfillment and shipping. Shipping is expensive. Shipping chocolate in a climate-controlled vehicle all over the world is even more expensive. And not just expensive, it’s also complicated. That’s why we got shipping experts and chocolatiers together beforehand and looked for the best way to get your Hagelswag in the same perfect conditions to your breakfast table as we handmade it in Amsterdam.
Getting Hagelswag to the rest of the world is a journey and will always be a journey. Like we learned from the story of Gerbrand Slag: even the best people can get in trouble. So we can’t promise it’ll be a journey without bumps in the road, but we’ll always keep you updated and informed and we’ll do anything to get you enjoying your Hagelswag like we do in Holland!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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