Visiting chocolate companies is usually fun and at Aeschbach
Chocolatier it's no different thanks to Juerg Rogenmoser, Marketing
Director. I'm in Cham a suburb of Zug and am standing in front
of a undistinguishable three-story building in an industrial
park. Since 1978 this has been home to Aeschbach. If one goes
to the backside of the building you can see a large Aeschbach
sign atop the building, which is lit-up at night and visible
to passing motorists on the freeway less than 500 meters away.
About 40 to 50 people (depending on the season) work in the three-story
factory/head office. Employee parking is plentiful, there's no
cafeteria but a break room, smoking isn't allowed, there's no
formal dress code, it's four miles to downtown Zug and 30 miles
to Zurich's airport. Any employee perks? Free chocolate on special
Managing Director Markus Aeschbach, who's parents founded the
company back in 1972, occupies a corner office on the top floor.
I note the hardwood floor, spot a computer, don't see any plants
nor any chocolate but, there is a bowl of apples.
So, who buys the chocolate made by Aeschbach? Aeschbach does
a lot of contract work for other companies. For instance while
I was there a big tractor trailer truck from Migros, Switzerland's
largest grocer, was loading boxes of who-knows-what onto the
truck. Aeschbach also supplies bakeries and patisseries with
chocolates, which are passed off as being made by the bakery
or patisserie. The company also does quite a bit of business
via its website and has a shop located near Zug's train station.
There's an on-site company store open to the public and we go
there for a look at Aeschbach's product line. Wow, all kinds
of packaged chocolates with a big variety of liqueur-filled chocolates.
As I get ready to leave Rogenmoser hands me a bag filled with
a sampling of goodies.
Later in the day I open a box and sample their most famous product;
rum cubes. Holy cow, they're fantastic! You can't stop once you
start eating these bite-size bits of butter cream chocolate with
an aroma of rum. Dangerously good!
Company website: www.aeschbach-chocolatier.ch
Sidenote: A few weeks
later I go into a patisserie and see boxes of Aeschbach's rum
cubes. They come in a distinctive wrapped box(without the Aeschbach
name on it) that's suppose to look like a cobblestoneas
in the kind you see in the old city centers. Anyway, Rogenmoser
had told me they made these for shops and the owners would pawn
them off as having been made by themselves. I point at the rum
cubes and told the owner I recently visited Aeschbach where these
are made. Well, it was a pretty funny scene as the woman repeatedly
kept saying the cubes were made in the store and denied ever
hearing of Aeschbach.