Today we launch our new series featuring talented creatives based in Melbourne. I love our city and all it has to offer, so I can’t think of a better way to celebrate it, than by spreading the word (and love), about the people who make it even more awesome.
To kick off, we’re talking to Jade Anderson, the founder of WAWA Chocolatier. [Insert slightly crazed cheshire cat grin, as I drool over her wares.] I LOVE me a bit of chocolate and WAWA takes it to a whole new level of rad-ness.
I met Jade last year when I stumbled upon PAM Lane, a maker’s market located within the bustling Preston Market. It’s not every day you see an artisan chocolate stall at your local market, so I made a beeline to check it out.
I was instantly drawn to the branding and packaging, which is the perfect balance of class and creativity. Each flavour in the range has its own unique graphic pattern and colour palette (think Marimekko/Gorman) and the ‘Get in your face chocolate’ tagline is super sassy.
I’ve been hitting the market every Thursday after the morning school drop, and Jade and I catch up over chai and dandelion tea from neighbouring pop-up, Himalaya/Heralaya (go and see them, they do really good coffee!). The more I got to know Jade, the more I realised she was my kinda peeps, and I needed to get the word out about her, and WAWA.
Originally from southern Western Australia, Jade moved to Melbourne about six years ago. I asked Jade how she got into the chocolate game. “I wanted to be a cake decorator and I started doing cake decorating. As part of that, I thought I should learn to make chocolate for chocolate decorations. I did some classes at Savour (Chocolate and Patisserie School in Brunswick), and then pretty much jumped ship. I just realised I liked it so much more.”
“So after volunteering in the kitchen and managing their head office for two years, I learnt loads and realised you could do so much with chocolate. You can be as creative with chocolate as you can with cake.”
The idea of WAWA had been in Jade’s head for quite some time, and it was during her time at Savour, that it all came to be. Almost 18 months old now, WAWA is stocked by some very cool food haunts around Melbourne, like Smith Street Alimentari.
The range includes six bars: three dark, two milk and a caramelised white. With unique flavours like Toasted Sourdough, Lavender Honeycomb & Cocoa Nib, Fried Almond & Smoked Salt, Blueberry and Blue Corn, Mint Caramel Crisp and Balsamic Salted Caramel, this range is something else!
So far, my fave is the Blueberry and Blue Corn, which has the caramelised white base. So good, it’s off the charts! I’ve scoffed half a bar while writing this post and let me tell you – it’s a game changer folks!
I asked Jade how she came up with her amazing flavour combinations. “The flavours are mostly based around ingredients from local producers that I loved – like Baker D. Chirico sourdough, Moondarra blueberries, Melbourne Rooftop Honey. I tried to work these into the chocolate as a pure appreciation for their products.”
Jade is really lucky to have some seriously talented friends. The stylish WAWA branding and labels were designed by close friend Gemma Wilson, and the amazing packaging patterns were designed by another friend, and textile designer Sarah Fitzpatrick of Assembly Design. With these two ladies in her circle, Jade can’t go wrong.
1. What designers/creatives truly inspire you?
Sarah Fitzpatrick of Assembly Design is pretty awe-inspiring. She does all of my packaging patterns and the girl’s just got it. I give her the loosest of briefs because I trust her aesthetic so much, and she knocks it out of the park every time.
My Mum is an artist and her influence certainly showed me how to see the world through creative eyes. She has this amazing ability to find beauty in the oddest of places.
Anyone who attempts anything creative is an inspiration to me. Even if I wouldn’t necessarily choose their stuff to decorate my home, the fact that they have actively allowed themselves the time to create, is something I can respect. Creative activity and play is so important, but so many of us don’t dedicate enough time to it. Me included!
2. What are your top 3 eateries in Melbourne?
Mamasita, Backstreet Eating and East Elevation.
3. What’s your fave album right now?
Bit addicted to We Two Thieves – At Midnight We Ride
4. Are you reading anything good?
Slowly working my way through Modern Love – The Story of John and Sunday Reed. And I always have a copy of Dumbo Feather on the bedside table.
5. If you could live anywhere in the world (other than Melbourne), where would that be?
From what I have seen of the world so far, somewhere rural in Northern Italy.
6. Spots or stripes? Stripes.
7. Chocolate or chips? One then the other.
8. Coffee or tea? Coffee.
9. Summer or Winter? SUMMER!! W.A. summers though, not this Melbourne rubbish.
10. Red wine, white wine, or bubbles? Red wine.
So what’s next for WAWA? Oh, just a soon to be announced collaboration with a Melbourne coffee roastery. What’s not to love about the idea of chocolate and coffee right? I’ll be keeping a close eye on this.
So stay tuned folks for an awesome giveaway leading up to Easter. Trust me, you’ll want to ‘get it in your face!’