For the past 10 years, creating world-class chocolates has been a top priority for Argentinian couple Alex and Lorena Gimenez.
Immigrating to Queenstown in 2002, Lorena says it was Alex’s love for chocolate and patisserie that led to them starting their business - Patagonia Chocolates.
“On one of our first days in Queenstown Alex asked where the local chocolate shop was and there wasn't one. He always loved to eat good quality chocolates and the supermarket ones didn't meet his expectations.”
She says her husband, a pastry chef by trade, got in touch with a chocolatier in Argentina who came over to train him in the art of chocolate making and in 2005, after a few years of planning, Patagonia Chocolates was born with the first shop opening in Arrowtown.
“We specialise in the traditional Patagonian style of making chocolate bars and slabs mixed with a large variety of different nuts and fruits," Lorena says. “We also produce truffles, bonbons and South American confections including the traditional Argentinean alfajor, all handcrafted.”
She says being able to deliver the very best artisan delicacies to their local community and visitors while keeping true to their South American roots is her favourite part of the job.
“It’s important for us to be sourcing the finest and most natural ingredients from New Zealand and around the world and combining this with love and passion to create our chocolates. We don’t use any artificial additives or colourings in our products.”
Patagonia Chocolates continues to grow and is now operating four cafes around the Southern Lakes serving handcrafted chocolates, ice cream, desserts and coffee roasted in their Wanaka café.
A fifth café is set to open later this year.
Mother’s Day Patagonia Chocolates Competition
Want a chance to win a delicious a 12-Piece Chocolate Bar Gift Box from Patagonia Chocolates for your mum this Mother’s Day?
Tell us in 100 words or less why your mum deserves to win this prize and email your entry to firstname.lastname@example.org, along with your postal address and contact phone number before 3pm on Wednesday May 4, 2016.
It’s one entry per person and the winner will be randomly selected and notified by phone on May 4, 2016.
Please read the competition terms and conditions before entering.