Hi Craig, could you please introduce yourself?
I am Craig Alibone, owner and head pastry chef of Craig Alibone Chocolate, a coffee shop & Champagneria.
Why did you choose to become a pastry chef?
After working as a chef in England and France for eight years, I was very fortunate to be introduced to a very talented French pastry chef. He open my eyes to the incredible capabilities in the pâtisserie industry. Within six months I enrolled at the Alain Ducasse École Nationale Supérieure de Pâtisserie in Yssingeaux, France. From there my new career began.
What led you to open a coffee shop & Champagneria?
Having developed my knowledge and skills over the years I found that in order to better myself and create something I truly believe in, I needed to start my own company. The pâtisserie & champagneria is a result of my vision and dedication to the industry. It also allows me to put a smile on peoples faces. There’s nothing better than seeing people having fun trying the products we make.
Can you explain the concept of the Champagneria?
The concept of my champagneria is to incorporate high quality pâtisserie with a great range of champagne, wines and cocktails. We focus on pairings and tasting experiences. We like to think we’re creating a culture of indulgence. All the finer things in life in one place.
What do you like the most about your job?
This answer could go on forever. The endless possibilities to be creative. The flavors, textures, the feelings when tasting great creations, the reaction and dedication it brings out in people. Probably the most rewarding part is the joy it brings to people’s lives. For those few minutes we have the ability to make their lives great.
What are the main challenges in your job today?
When you have a business you have a clear goal of what you want to achieve. For me nothing would be possible without the commitment and passion of my staff. So I feel keeping everyone happy at work and making sure they’re living a beneficial life within my company is challenging because everyone has diffent needs.
For you, what could the chocolate beverage offer look like in five to ten years?
I think with the society’s thirst for more natural and pure products chocolate beverages can present a more natural flavor palette.