巧克力與漆器的完美結合

Fran’s Chocolates和日本漆器品牌之間的故事是關於熱情、精湛的工藝、以及在巧克力行業及餐具行業提高標準。兩者的結合將微妙的味道的技藝轉化成了持久的紀念品。

兩個品牌6月19日在喬治鎮舉行了展銷會。漆器工藝大師富谷良一從日本飛抵展示製作漆器的複雜過程。

平安堂是1919年成立於日本山田的漆器品牌,該公司引以為豪的是其選用櫸樹為專用的漆器材料,配以傳統塗料澤漆。

「大多數人都說漆器看起來像塑料,」該公司美國分公司創始人松本康樹希望將漆器行業傳承下去,他說:「但是,隨著人們用了很長的時間,顏色開始改變。」

這兩個品牌從2014年秋季開始合作,美國平安堂從龍系列的巧克力中提取元素設計了可以擺放精緻巧克力松露的容器。

2015年春季,兩家公司又設計了類似法式馬卡龍般明快顏色的首飾盒。Fran’s Chocolates的零售經理王蓓表示,這些盒子很受年輕人歡迎,銷售後一搶而空。

Fran’s Chocolates最初在日本獲得聲望是因為該公司與日本傳統紙卷軸和屏風品牌Chabako合作,設計的紙盒。山田平安堂認為這是一個機會,將日本漆器引入北美。

在進一步的合作計劃中,雙方選定了白檀系列的盒子為今年秋季主打。「紅棕色和黑色的塗層營造出多維效應。是巧克力的最佳容器,也讓Fran’s Chocolates更加完美。

Fran’s Chocolates brings Japanese handcrafted lacquerware to Seattle
By Jocelyn Chui

The story between Fran’s Chocolates and Heiando America is about passion, true craftsmanship, and raising the bar for quality in both chocolate and tableware industry.

When handmade Fran’s Chocolates truffles are combined with Heiando’s handcrafted lacquerware, the memories of the delicate flavor are transformed into a long lasting keepsake.

“It’s a wonderful relationship with Heiando America,” said Fran Bigelow, the founder and president of the local chocolate specialty at a joint event with Heiando America. “They respect our chocolate and we respect their artistry.”

Fran’s Chocolates and Heiando America hosted an Urushi Lacquerware Sale and Exhibit at Fran’s Chocolates in Georgetown on June 19. Lacquerware master craftsman Ryoichi Tomiya flew in from Japan to demonstrate the intricacy involved in producing a piece of lacquerware.

“We cherish the rich tradition as well as the skills and universal beauty of lacquerware, which we have inherited from the past generations,” said Yasuki Matsumoto, the founder of Heiando America. “We hope the event marked or first step in introducing the world of traditional Japanese lacquerware to the U.S.”

Heiando America is a subsidiary company of Yamada Heiando, which has been specializing in handcrafted tableware since 1919 in Japan. The company prides in its perfection of the traditional Japanese art—handcrafted lacquerware— tableware made out of a specific type of wood called keyaki and coated with a type of paint called urushi.

“Most people say lacquerware looks like plastic,” said Matsumoto who wants to keep the Urushi lacquer industry healthy for generations to come. “But as people use it for a long time, the colors begin to change.”

Fran’s Chocolates began its partnership with Heiando America in the fall of 2014. Heiando America designed a lacquer bowl from the Ryu Collection for Fran’s Chocolates which customers can use as a container to hold the delicate truffles and an interior display.

“The brush strokes on the bowl have such beautiful movements,” Bigelow said.

In Spring 2015, the two companies came up with a collection of accessory boxes in bright colors that resemble French macarons, which drew the attention to Bigelow’s inspiration for her business after she tasted her first taste of French confections in 1969.

“These boxes seem to appeal to the younger customers and were sold out fairly quickly,” said Bei Wang, the Retail Operations Manager of Fran’s Chocolate.

Originated in Seattle, Fran’s Chocolates first gained its fame in Japan when some Japanese customers began to notice the company’s Chabako Box, which is made by an expert of traditional Japanese washi scroll and screen construction named Yasushi Yokoo.

“It got popular very quickly in Japan and many Japanese customers who came to Seattle would buy it as collectibles or gifts,” Wang said. “It even got onto some Japanese TV channel.”

Yamada Heiando saw this as an opportunity to bring the art of traditional Japanese lacquerware to North America. The company began to design a container that compliments the intricacy of Fran’s Chocolates handmade truffles and chose Seattle as the first stop for Heiando America.

“Seattle is very close to Japan,” Matsumoto said. “We are a local company. Fran’s is a local company. We are very happy to partner with them.”

Continuing its relationship with Heiando America, Fran’s Chocolates has chosen the perfect chocolate box from the Byakudan Collection for this coming fall.

“The box is coated with reddish brown and black to create the multi-dimensional effect,” Bigelow said. “They make the perfect container for our chocolate, which makes it a lasting gift.”

Wang said that these boxes sold out fairly quickly based on past experiences because customers love to collect them, which mean you will need to act quickly while the supplies last.

The must-try favors are the best-selling gray and smoked salted caramels. Single malt and orange confit are also local favorites. If you want to give your box a variety of savor, also try oolong, dark chocolate espresso, and bittersweet truffle.

For more information on Fran’s Chocolates and Heiando America, visit franschocolates.com and heiandoamerica.com.

文_Jocelyn Chiu; 譯_Jill Ji; 攝影_Lillian Young