SUPPLIER PROFILE: CUCKOO

Stephanie and Gregoire Ferent
Brand CAROB by CUCKOO and CUCKOO CHOCOLATE
Where do you operate from? Hermanus
When did your business start? 2017
Website https://www.facebook.com/cuckoochocolate/
Name of owners Gregoire and Stephanie Ferent
Tell us a bit about where you come from, where you were educated? Both my wife, Stephanie and myself arrived in Hermanus in 2017 after 17 years living in Johannesburg. Stephanie was working in the wine and decor industry and I owned a business in the furniture industry. I was educated in Paris and Stephanie in Cape Town.
Why did you choose this business? After training with a Belgian chocolatier, we started our business in 2017 as CUCKOO Chocolate Emotions. Under this umbrella, and using our chocolatier skills, we developed a new brand, CAROB by CUCKOO.

Our business started from an strong emotional background, and that was in tribute of Cuckoo de Wet, Stephanie’s mum who had suddenly passed away some years before. Each packet of CAROB by CUCKOO or CUCKOO chocolate is a tribute to that very special person and to every special person that someone knows or remembers.

Any special skills/talents in this area? Chocolatier skills and the understanding of the manual chocolate tempering process is absolutely essential in our business. Both our chocolate and carob contain pure cocoa butter and therefore need to be tempered perfectly before anything else can happen. This, along with a love of flavours and an interest in food and in quality, allowed us to develope our unique range.
What’s the best part of your working day? Best part of the day is around 18h00 when the day’s work is finished, children’s homework is done, and we start preparing the evening meal with a glass of wine and the whole family around us, and when we have those exquisite Hermanus evenings where you just want to bottle and preserve the air …
And the worst? Sometimes something in the air causes us to lose temper…not our tempers, but the tempering of our chocolate or carob, and that forces us to stop, take a deep breath and start again!
Of all the brands out there, which one is your favourite? Why? Ticklemouse Country Fare. They started like us, using true ingredients, passion and beloved recipes, and prove to us that it is possible to grow organically!
Who or what has been your most important inspiration in life? Why? For me, Stephanie, my mother’s dynamism, energy and pizazz and more, inspired me to pay tribute to her with this beautiful range of chocolate and carob. For Gregoire and I, we are inspired daily by our children, community, our land’s beauty and by each other.
Choose 3 keywords that best capture the essence of your /brand. Artisan, Authentic, Purity.
Any jaw-dropping mistakes and/or failures in life/business you’d like to confess to? Moving to a small town from a large metropole and bringing our “big town” ideas and way of doing things and not understanding the different dynamics at play.
Any standing-ovation awards, achievements, successes you’d care to brag about? Personally, being present in our children lives, giving them the best guidance that we can and watching them grow in their own characters and peculiarity.
Professionally, receiving phone calls from complete strangers that want to compliment us on our products, that want to share the experience of their eating of it and how it makes them feel as to what taste experience they’ve had!