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Max Brenner set to crack the Adelaide chocolate market

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International chocolatier Max Brenner will open its first Adelaide outlet tomorrow with a chocolate-breaking ceremony that will see 40kg of the product smashed with a hammer and chisel.

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“We want to free the chocolate and get people to celebrate it,” national sales and retail manager Natalie Wickham says of the opening event, which will take place at 2pm at the new chocolate bar at 277 Rundle Street.

“We invite people to play with their food – kids are allowed to get in there and grab the [broken] chocolate.

“Basically, there’s chocolate flying around everywhere … it creates great theatre.”

As InDaily reported earlier this year, the new chocolate bar will be on the site previously occupied by Eros Ouzeri restaurant, which closed in January.

The Max Brenner franchise was created in Israel in 1996 by chocolatiers Max Fichtman and Oded Brenner and has spread across the world. It now has 44 outlets in Australia, with the packaged retail products made in Israel and most of the items consumed in the bar supplied from its patisserie in Sydney.

The chocolate-breaking ceremony occurs at the opening of every new Max Brenner store.

The chocolate-breaking ceremony occurs at the opening of every new Max Brenner store.

The Rundle Street bar will be its first in South Australia, but Wickham suggests it might not be the last.

“We possibly may open more in SA, just depending on how this one goes … I would imagine there would be more in the pipeline.”

As well as selling chocolate products to take home, the chocolate bar will offer a menu of sweet treats that can be enjoyed in store, including hot chocolate served in what is called a “Hug Mug” (it’s shaped like a cocoa bean so you hold or “hug” it in both hands) and a “limited-edition” Rockin’ Road Sundae with vanilla ice-cream, chunks of milk-chocolate rocky road, marshmallows, gummy beers and more.

Wickham says signature desserts include the Tutti-Frutti Waffle made with waffles from Belgium; a chocolate fondue for two, served with strawberries, bananas, marshmallows and banana bread; and a Chocolate Pizza with a Crunch which is topped with cornflakes, marshmallows and white chocolate drops.

The Belgian chocolate waffles.

The Belgian waffles drizzled with milk chocolate.

Max Brenner has its own store designer and builder, and the original opening date for the Adelaide bar was pushed back because it took longer than anticipated to fit out the historic building.

“This one in Adelaide will look slightly different to every other Max Brenner – we’ve kept the heritage feel to it,” Wickham says.

“We’ve gone back to basics with some of the patterns and designs – the tiles, for example, are the same tiles that were in our original Max Brenner store [in Sydney], and the bar is made from copper instead of wood to give it the look and feel of a heritage Max Brenner.

“We just fell in love with that building and the feeling it had.”

Max Brenner’s arrival creates a chocolate cluster on Rundle Street, with the new outlet just two doors up from Cocolat and within a short walk across Rundle Street from San Churro and Steven ter Horst.

The three other stores also operate as dessert cafes and offer packaged chocolate, but the new chocolatier on the block seems confident there is enough sweet love to go around.

“We see about 7.5 million people a year going into all our stores Australia-wide,” Wickham says.

“Chocolate really is an addiction and we have to feed people’s addictions.”

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