Brik Chocolate launched in 2020 - not too long before the UK first went into lockdown. This small, award-winning chocolate design company is based in London and they take pride in breaking the mold when it comes to the experience of designing, creating and eating chocolate.
Brik is a product of three creative individuals, Kia Utzon-Frank, Raffaella Baruzzo and Adam Hunt.
Although Kia is the most hands-on member of the team when it comes to making chocolates, this is her first foray into the industry. Kia is an experienced designer and goldsmith with a rich background in idea development and making, and although this is her full-time job, her intricate, tactile way of working hadn’t collided with the culinary industry too much before Brik was born.
Brik Chocolate started because of a massive failure
While it’s no secret that Brik Chocolate creates products that are far from your average 8 square chocolate bar, its existence wasn’t always written in the stars. As Kia’s creative background consisted of her dealing with precious stones and metals, she wasn't a natural when it came to chocolate. However, Kia wasn’t afraid when the opportunity to teach a workshop with chocolate came up - she looked at it with an open mind. It was an embarrassing mistake happening when she was teaching that her perspective changed.
“I was making cakes for the Barbican and messed up 2kg of chocolate which, when set, broke up like stone. But it inspired me to think outside of the box - that was my first Brik!!” - Kia Utzon-Frank, Brik Chocolate - London, UK
Kia adapts what she knows and her surroundings to inspire her creating, and this was the launching pad for Brik. Where others may have been embarrassed to make a mistake, she’s taken it in her stride, treating the experience as a valuable lesson. From there, her understanding of chocolate grew and she realised metal and chocolate react very similarly when molten, maybe this wasn't such a leap after all.
Being adaptive and innovative
There have been a lot of challenges in the past year and for small retail businesses in the UK, the new trade rules that came as a result of the UK leaving the European union caught a lot of businesses off guard.
“Brexit and lockdown, it's been a minefield!” - Kia Utzon-Frank, Brik Chocolate - London, UK
Brik’s main revenue came from online sales, but these had to pause until Brexit rules were clear, so they focussed on running various online workshops, using the FormBox and thermoforming sheets to vacuum form molds to use while teaching and creating on camera.
Vacuum formed custom molds as an alternative to silicone molds
Kia was lucky enough to learn about the Mayku FormBox at the perfect time. Stationed in Containerville in North London, the Brik Chocolate team have a whole host of creative teams working and collaborating with each other nearby, a fellow chocolatier showed Kia the FormBox and it’s vacuum forming possibilities and she was sold! Having her own vacuum forming machine was one of her top priorities and so the FormBox is now used to create the chocolates and the molds she sells as part of her chocolate kits, with Kia whipping it out any opportunity she gets to bring her ideas to reality or to test something at prototyping time.
Sustainability is a huge part of the Brik Chocolate ethos, with the team actively pushing to do everything as sustainably as possible. By using the Mayku FormBox and our vacuum forming sheets, they ensure their molds are sturdy and reusable but also that any off-cuts are fully recyclable. Furthermore, creating new custom molds is quick and clean with the FormBox - whereas silicone is messy, has a longer lead time from idea to usable mold and is more difficult to dispose of when you're finished with a mold.
Life without the FormBox? Not even a possibility for Kia and the team. They use their FormBox a lot and even recently used it to create DIY Easter egg kits.
“If I didn’t have access to the FormBox? It would be really shit!” - Kia Utzon-Frank, Brik Chocolate - London, UK
Custom Polycarbonate Molds for Chocolate vs. Set-Up Cost of the Mayku FormBox
How does the Mayku FormBox compete with custom polycarbonate molds? It’s common knowledge in the food industry that polycarbonate molds are the go-to for chocolatiers but they also have long lead times and high costs when you want something custom. Alternatively, silicone molds are also a common option, but this process is still expensive as well as being very messy and tricky to master.
When it comes to experimenting with new mold shapes and sizes, the Mayku FormBox is cheaper, faster and cleaner than a lot of alternatives.
- Upfront Cost - £599
- Part Cost - £1
- Lead time - 3-4 hours
- Quantity - 30
External Custom Mold Vendor
- Upfront Cost - £3,500
- Part Cost - £3,500
- Lead time - 3-6 weeks
- Quantity - 2
Want to learn more? You can follow @TeamMayku on social media, join our Facebook Group, the Mayku Community or request to Speak to a Specialist at any time to find out how you could use a FormBox for your next project.