Born with congenital blindness, Gerrard Gosens has lived an extraordinary life, from climbing Mount Everest to performing the salsa on Dancing with the Stars to receiving the Order of Australia medal in 2012. Gerrard is also a master chocolatier who, together with wife Heather Gosens, opened Chocolate Moments café more than a decade ago.
“We named the café this because we believe that there’s a moment for chocolate in everyone’s lives, whether it’s a celebration, a thank you, or a way to let someone know you’re thinking about them,” Gerrard says.
Gerrard’s chocolates aren’t like any others. Using his heightened senses of taste and smell, he is able to create unique flavours inspired by Australia’s local produce. Some flavours on offer include caramel macadamia, strawberry cream, and lemon myrtle.
As a three-time Paralympian, pre-COVID Gerrard regularly travelled across Australia to compete, which has allowed him to source this fresh produce for his chocolates.
“For example, when I went down to Tasmania to compete, there was a raspberry farm between Devonport and Launceston which is where we picked up some fresh raspberries,” Gerrard says.
“Or when I visited western Queensland, there was a number of beehives I’d pick up honey from and recently, when I went up to Kingaroy in North Queensland, I bought some cumquat jam. I’m always looking at different flavours and ways we can support different Australian regions.”
Buying local is an important value to Gerrard, and while raw products such as cocoa and coffee are hard to source within Australia, he ensures they are bought from Fairtrade certified producers and roasted by Queensland-based coffee roaster Montville.
Montville’s Sunshine Coast blend is one of the café’s most popular blends, featuring notes of buttery chocolate, caramel, and almonds.
“Another really popular coffee blend is the premium Peruvian coffee blend from Café Femenino. This is a really great all-female run project which gives women land rights to sell this coffee,” says Gerrard.
“Supporting sustainability not only in Australia, but in every part of the supply chain is something that is very important to our business.”
As summer rolls around, Chocolate Moments is expanding its cold drink selection to include iced coffee and chocolate beverages, as well as alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails such as Espresso Martinis.
Besides providing a chocolate experience like no other, Gerrard says each Chocolate Moments customer receives a high-level of customer service, with the café boasting a relaxing, rustic aesthetic made of natural timber and wood.
“Some of the chairs in our chocolate store are stump from trees; all our furniture has been made from the bush, in line with our ethos to support local,” says Gerrard.
“For us it’s about that community and the atmosphere, not only having something that is home grown but making sure we’re supporting one another.”
42-60 Albert Street, Brisbane, Queensland 4000
Open Monday to Friday 7am – 5pm, Saturday 10am – 4pm
This article appears in the December 2021 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.