Have you ever been to Winterfeldt Schokoladen? If so, you must have been as amazed as I was. The shop is a wonderful symbiosis of a listed pharmacy and a selection of chocolates that you rarely find.
At the beginning of July 2020, I had the opportunity to interview Natascha Kespy, the owner of Winterfeldt Schokoladen. We talked about the beginnings and how Natascha became passionate about chocolate and generally high-quality food. Of course, Corona was also an issue and how Winterfeldt chocolates are positioned for the future.
How it all started
Natascha Kespy is the daughter of German-French parents and was born in Berlin. At the age of 12 she came to France, where she later completed acting training. At the age of 20 she returned to Berlin and then spent 10 years as an actress at theaters all over Germany.
She was born with her sense of delicatessen and good food. When she returned to Berlin, she missed good chocolate. While looking for it, she met Holger in’t Veld, who was running a chocolate store in Prenzlauer Berg at the time. Natascha was looking for new opportunities after the birth of her first child. It turned out that she took over the management of Holger in’t Veld’s second shop on Winterfeldtstrasse.
Holger in’t Veld’s company went bankrupt in 2010. Natascha Kespy had already learned a lot about the chocolate business. And when the pharmacist at the time couldn’t find a successor for his shop, she seized the opportunity and moved her chocolate shop into the historic premises of the listed pharmacy in the corner of Goltz and Pallasstrasse.
The Winterfeldt Schokoladen (choco shop)
The chocolate shop is still the centerpiece of Winterfeldt Schokoladen, although there is also an attached café and an online shop. More on that later.
Natascha told me that it was not so easy at the beginning to find good chocolate. She was always on the lookout and traveled a lot to find the best chocolate available. In the meantime, the situation has changed completely. And I think if you like good chocolate, you found that yourself. Nowadays Natascha regularly receives inquiries as to whether she could add new chocolates to her range.
The store is full of high quality chocolate. In order to be included in the range, certain quality criteria must be met. Before she has samples being sent, Natascha takes a close look at the products on offer. Are handicrafts right, is cocoa meetind fair trade standards, is the look right? If she then requests samples, she will undertake them a sensory evaluation. And after all she has to consider whether the chocolate will be selling. Times are changing.
What many probably don’t even know, most chocolates at Winterfeldt Schokoladen are vegan. The higher the share of cocoa the safer you can be. And the focus of the assortment is precisely on these varieties with the best raw cocoa, but so-called milk chocolates are increasingly vegan nowadays as well (see photo collage).
“Bean to bar”, that is from the bean to the finished bar, is common practice at good chocolate manufacturers today. This means that the manufacturers take care of the entire route from raw cocoa to the fully packaged chocolate.
Interconnected with the shop and so to say in the back room the café area is located – in summer you can of course sit outside in front of the store as well. The back wall of the room is also a remnant of the pharmacy time (see picture at the top). Several vessels on the shelf are still reminiscent of this time. Books and brochures have been added, and of course also tables, chairs and benches for the coffee house guests.
You can find the current range of cakes in a showcase in the entrance area (see picture at the top). You can choose from lemon tart, brownies, apple crumble or “cold dog”, for example. There are usually one or two vegan varieties (you can see a vegan apple tart on the picture). If you are in doubt, let yourself be adviced.
By the way, there is also breakfast. A sweet one with coffee, croissant and spread for € 6 and an English with coffee, scone, clotted cream and jam for € 5.50.
Natascha Kespy told me that she made the coffee prices very moderate to compensate for the usually more expensive chocolates. An espresso costs € 1.20, an Americano and a cappuccino € 2.40. In addition to whole milk, low-fat, soy and oats milk are also available.
And since we are in chocolate paradise, you of course also get delicious drinking chocolate. Finally, there are a few soft drinks to choose from.
The online shop
During the Corona crisis, Winterfeldt Schokoladen’s online shop grew enormously in importance. That way Natascha Kespy was able to save Easter for the business but also for many customers. Even though the store was allowed to remain open due to the fact that it was a grocery store. Natascha had long working days on which she put together packages, to which she added small cards with personal greetings.
The response was very positive and the importance of the online shop will continue to be greater in the future. After all, the restrictions mean that fewer people can come to the café and the number of customers in the shop is currently also still lower than before Corona.
Lovers of fine chocolates will love Winterfeldt Schokoladen and will surely come out of the shop with at least one or two finds. But also friends of a good coffee and a piece of cake will get their money’s worth here.
I can only recommend visiting this wonderful place with its historical decor and excellent chocolate specialties. And if you are looking for something special, you will find excellent advice here.
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