Compartes Chocolatier owner Jonathan Grahm was just named one of Forbes Magazine's "30 Under 30," which notes that the chocolate maker has been a CEO since the age of 15. The story doesn't give a lot of background on Grahm, his recent expansion in Japan, or reveal any of his grand plans for L.A. in 2012, short of telling us that actress Teri Hatcher uses the snooty moniker "Chocolate Boy" when referring to this confectioner. How does Grahm feel about that one and what is up his sleeves for the new year?
The chocolate maker laughs when the nickname is brought up and tells Grub Street, "I think it should be 'chocolate guy' at this point! That nickname was given to me when I was 21 or so...'chocolate guy' definitely has a better ring to it."
To build on his good fortune, Grahm has relaunched his website and debuted new branding for the business, with a new logo and packaging that hearkens back to the company's 1950's roots, while planning to launch a landslide of new chocolate products this year, some of which he promises Grub Street "are not only revolutionary for the chocolate industry but I feel they will be revolutionary for the food industry as a whole in terms of doing something that no one else has done before."
Though he doesn't offer specifics on the allegedly game-changing products, Grahm offers the above photo of a recently released design that is in the vein of his new approach, though the real innovative stuff is coming in spring. Behind the new look and creations comes a philosophy, which Grahm breaks down in saying, "I think chocolate has always carried with it this kind of heaviness in terms of the people making it, the branding, packaging and that sort of chi chi-ness, if you will, about it, when you think of European chocolatiers...what I'm doing is creating hip, cool, funky chocolate, chocolate that I would want to buy myself...fusing together chocolate, art and travel, which are my three passions."
Grahm says he's been hard at work on the new selection for years and is pumped to reveal his innovations this coming April, what he's calling "a chocolate revolution" for now. 2012 will also see him bringing his chocolates to gourmet specialty food stores throughout the U.S.
30 Under 30: Food And Wine [Forbes]