The TeaRoom Chocolatier Team is a small group of artisans who apply the precise infusion techniques taught to them by the company's owner and creator, Heinz Rimann. The TeaRoom Chocolatier Team is an extension of Heinz's vision to introduce exotic and worldly flavors to the marketplace, ultimately allowing for anyone interested to indulge in an item they are familiar with: chocolate; as well as uncover new tastes they may have never been aware of or even had the chance to try. Heinz and The TeaRoom Chocolatier Team are constantly seeking to harness delicate balances of chocolate, tea and other ingredients within their confections in order to introduce completely unique flavors that ultimately make sense, and, most importantly, are delicious and accessible to any chocolate-lover.
Heinz's intrigue and passion for the world of food, and the act of creating something scrumptious seemingly out of nothing, began for him as a young boy, in a small village in Switzerland. It was in his home-town village, and more specifically, in his mother's kitchen, where he was first introduced to the act of creating food, and doing so from scratch.
Tagging along his mother's side, Heinz would venture through this Swiss village, surrounded by rolling hills, stopping by the local bakery, butcher, egg and farm stands to pick up the various fresh ingredients that would be needed for that particular day's culinary adventure. From jams, to compotes, to sauces and more, Heinz would admiringly observe the seemingly crazy combinations of eggs, butter, flour (cream puffs) or cheese, onions, bread & eggs (cheese bread souffle), that his mother would toss into a bowl or pan, wondering what would ultimately come from such seemingly cacophonous combinations.
And what did ultimately come from these combinations, much to Heinz's delight, was food and flavor! His favorites: sauce béarnaise (butter sauce with tarragon), cheese souffle, boeuf Bourguignon, all appeared to begin as puzzles, with his mother's kitchen counter top holding all the pieces. Heinz would take note on how each dish his mother made was its own puzzle, with its own components and layouts, its own intricacies and different flavors. How his mother carefully constructed each different puzzle, never missing a piece, was quite something for Heinz to observe, and is what began his journey into the world of food.
It's safe to say that Heinz was never let down by his mother's culinary creations, as his intrigue with foods, flavors and the joy of not only eating, but cooking & creating, grew exponentially alongside of him over the coming years.
It was then in middle school that Heinz's intrigue for creating flavors and foods evolved into the next phase in his life: from the act of combining various ingredients and flavors, creating something comforting and flavorful from scratch, to the realization that the world of foods, ingredients and flavors extended beyond his mother's kitchen, beyond his quaint village in Switzerland, and opened up a universe of infinite possibilities for his palate to play with.
Were it not for his middle-school teacher introducing him to the world of food beyond the rolling hills of Switzerland, Heinz may very well have taken a different path in life than that of a chef, that of a pursuer of all things palate, that of the creator of The TeaRoom.
Mr. Blattmann was his name, and Heinz still remembers with fondness how every winterbreak, after returning back from abroad, Mr. Blattmann would scatter a smorgasbord of exotic and foreign foods across the faded middle-school table that sat at the front of the classroom, and almost dauntingly disturbed the other Swiss children who were used to their village's traditional cuisine. Heinz was the exception to this rule. He wasn't disturbed, but rather desirous to explore these tastings. One example included all kinds of preserved fish; from pickled herrings to smoked sturgeon, eel and trouts to cured salmon and more.
Mr. Blattmann's unveiling of this universe of flavor allowed Heinz the confidence and ability to look beyond the hills of Switzerland, to imagine what may lie hidden beyond his home town, beyond his mother's kitchen, and even further outward, beyond Mr. Blattmann's classroom, where he would ultimately become a registered chef, and acquire a profession that would not only allow him to create foods, but also to travel the world and taste the finest flavors of what different cultures had to offer.
The elite world of 5-Star hotels is where Heinz continued his culinary journey, in that it allowed him to see the world, allowed him insight into what different cultures offered which flavors and in what forms; and also provided him with various venues to work with world-renowned chefs, to taste and critique their creations, and continue to play with and experiment with his own.
As a native of Switzerland–“the land of chocolate”–and a graduate of the Swiss Hotel management School in Lausanne, Heinz ultimately became recognized as a main participant in changing the look of hotel restaurants across the globe during the 1980's, from food presentation, to appearance and unique combinations that are still seen today in restaurants worldwide. Heinz has worked as manager for luxury hotels of high-repute including The Peninsula Hong Kong, The Regent (now Inter-Continental) Hong Kong, The Portman Inter-Continental in London, the Inter-Continental in Kinshasa/Republic of Congo and The Portman (now JW Marriot) San Francisco.
Working side by side with some of the world's top chefs during this time, Heinz applied creative input to the presentation and taste of every dish made to ensure absolute quality and unwavering customer-satisfaction. Also, during his time as food & beverage director for the Regent Hong Kong, Heinz conceptualized & opened its own in-house chocolate boutique, a passion he has pursued and refined ever since.
Just as his mother and her kitchen introduced him to the basics of creating cuisines, just as Mr. Blattmann introduced him to the world of flavor beyond that kitchen, and just as his experience in hotels broadened his horizon enabling him to better appreciate the finer flavors in life, so does Heinz now wish to extend all of his exposure and knowledge to the world at large. Heinz seeks, through his own experiences, to give others the opportunity, much as he had and greatly appreciated growing up, to enjoy a culinary experience that had been, perhaps, previously unkown to them.
The idea to infuse chocolates with tea presented itself to Heinz naturally. Working with teas for four
years prior to chocolate, owning his own tea room in Los Angeles for over a year where he began his tea-infused chocolate experiments, and growing up around the culturally steeped tradition of tea that Switzerland has, Heinz saw an overwhelming connection between the richly flavored & scented teas he was working with and the chocolate he loved since childhood. His love for gourmet food, his hands-on experience in creating such, and his background in chocolate that began with his birthplace, all collaborated to create his dream of constructing a gourmet candy product that would allow consumers to indulge in & enjoy chocolate in a fashion they hadn't considered previously, or may have otherwise never had the chance to experience.
The TeaRoom , now over 5 years old, first started in Napa, CA, and offered a modest selection of five organic truffles infused with various teas. Over five years later The TeaRoom, now based in the San Francisco bay area (San Leandro) and growing daily, offers a line of thirteen award-winning organic chocolate fusion bars, a line of organic chocolate fusion drinking chocolates, bite-size organic chocolate fusion drops and a line of 29 chocolate fusion truffles (made with over 99% organic ingredients).
The TeaRoom's retail presence can be felt from Southern to Northern California, into the Pacific Northwest, Hawaii, Mountain West, Rocky Mountains, South East, Midwest and East Coast; as well as internationally in Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and beyond; and are in such stores as The Food Emporium, Wegmans Markets, Tops Markets, PCC Natural, Market of Choice, Bristol Farms, Mollie Stones Markets, Harmons Groceries, Pharmaca Pharmacy, Lunardi's Market, Andronico's, Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, Lassens Market, Jimbo's Naturally, Mother's Market, Akins/Chamberlins Natural Foods, Giant Eagles and many more. The TeaRoom is distributed in the USA by such reputed companies as UNFI (all warehouses), KeHE, Tree of Life, Peters Imports and Haddon House.
The TeaRoom, ultimately, is Heinz Rimann's lifelong journey, arrived. Committed to absolute quality, Heinz and The TeaRoom Chocolatier Team continue to keep an open mind on their own work. They realize that a chocolate experience, first & foremost, begins and ends with taste & texture. Because of this the eating experience is never compromised. This means that consistent and persistent attention is given to every piece of chocolate made. It means that quality is not sacrificed for profit, that the belief of hard-work to create high quality products is held high by all who are a part of this new and exciting Chocolate Fusion process. Because different Chocolate Fusion blends are constantly in the works, because The TeaRoom Chocolatier Team is always asked to lend their opinions to Heinz's chocolate creations–their flavor, texture & appearance–and because the product is something every associate can take pride in, The TeaRoom, Heinz Rimann’s dream, has been embraced by all those involved in it.