Episode 26: Julia Zotter of Zotter Chocolates

Description: Welcome to the final episode of 2018 featuring Julia Zotter of Zotter Chocolates (Zotter Schokoladen Manufaktur) based in Riegersburg, Austria. Their company story is an incredible one of persistence, creativity, and thinking way outside the chocolate box; over the last almost four decades, they turned their humble pastry shop into a bean-to-bar factory, visitor center, farm-to-lunch operation, and more, with over 400 craft chocolate confection bars actively available on the shelves (but who’s counting?! as you’ll hear from the episode). Not to mention international presence, as Julia created from the ground-up the first interactive and visitable food experience in Shanghai, China, and when she was 25.

This episode closes out our mini-series on cocoa innovation, through which we got to know 5 brands utilizing various stages of cocoa and cacao in production, as well as unique business concepts to push their businesses forward in this craft chocolate renaissance.

Julia Zotter photo credit: Zotter Chocolates

Julia Zotter photo credit: Zotter Chocolates

Themes discussed in this episode of Well Tempered, the podcast about the smart, crafty, and creative women in chocolate: 

  • Introducing brand qualities and company ethics to new (craft) chocolate fans

  • The Zotter family history; co-founders and husband and wife Josef and Ulrike Zotter, and children Julia, Michael, and Valerie

  • The benefit of home court advantage, and value of offering variety & experiences to customers

  • Organic + Fairtrade (WFTO) certifications that gave permanency to the brand

  • The concept of the ‘Chocolate Theatre’ and chocolate as a destination to understand the world around you

  • Scaling up an intensive manual labor-needed product (hand-scooped chocolates)

  • Julia’s learnings from launching a chocolate business in China, and more international contemplations

  • Research and fun, over R+D

  • Machinery in the age of small and medium sized chocolate companies

CraftAct singular variety and origin chocolate bars by Julia Zotter photo credit: Zotter Chocolate

CraftAct singular variety and origin chocolate bars by Julia Zotter photo credit: Zotter Chocolate

Related links: 
Information and photos from the Shanghai Zotter factory
More on the new Zotter ‘Fair’ logo and practices

Zotter's pieces of innovation discussed in the podcast:

  • €18,000,000 bean-to-bar production facility and chocolate “theme park”

  • Over 400 (current) flavor combinations

  • Experiential & experimental elements of the company

The Zotter Family, left to right, Michael, Julia, Josef, & Ulrike photo credit: Zotter Chocolate

The Zotter Family, left to right, Michael, Julia, Josef, & Ulrike photo credit: Zotter Chocolate

Where to find Zotter:
Zotter Austria https://www.zotter.at/en // Zotter China www.zotter.cn/en/ // Zotter USA https://www.zotterusa.com/
The Zotter company website is meticulously maintained. I encourage you to spend some time reading through various facets of their business and offerings, almost updated daily.
Instagram @zotterschokoladen
Instagram @zotterjulia
Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/zotterschokolade/