As a young
boy growing up in Vienna, Heinz Robert Goldschneider was fascinated
with making chocolate. His mother taught him many family recipes.
It was her enthusiasm which ignited his passion, and led young “Robert”
to study chocolate with top artisans in Switzerland.
Following his dream to the New World, and now as a young chocolatier
in Manhattan, Mr Roberts’ white truffles were awarded top
honors by the food critics at New York Magazine. Actually his chocolate
creations claimed six of the top ratings. Encouraged by the recognition,
Robert went on to successfully establish wholesale ventures with
a number of esteemed stores in the area, including Saks Fifth Avenue,
Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale’s.
Inspired by the traditions of the Old World, Mr. Goldschneider
insists on the importance of making everything from scratch with
only the finest of natural ingredients. He insists that freshness
and true excellence can only be achieved by hand dipping and coating
each morsel in small quantities.
“I put a lot of emphasis on visual perfection,” he
says, “because I believe one eats first with the eyes….”
In 1982 Heinz Robert Goldschneider’s uncompromising devotion
to quality led him to begin his new company, Chocolates by Mr. Roberts.
The store is unassuming – even somewhat hidden in downtown
Boca Raton, Florida. It is here in this community, at this location,
where Mr. Roberts’ formula for fine chocolate has found a
home. Although the operation is a modest one, one may insist that
Robert along with his wife Denise, have, in fact built an empire.
(Modesty aside – personal letters of appreciation from Henry
Fonda and Donald Trump are proudly displayed in the shop..)
In 2007, while nearly a nonagenarian (and still sharp as a tack)
Mr Roberts decided to slow his lifestyle down a bit, and to step
aside for the next generation of chocolatiers. As a longtime friend
and aficionado of Mr. Robert’s, I feel honored and consider
it my great fortune to have been chosen to carry on the tradition,
the excellence, the passion, the legacy.
Studying with the master himself has been nothing short of awe-inspiring.
Still now, on any given day, Heinz Robert Goldschneider can be
seen slowly walking from his nearby home to visit with patrons at
the shop. After having made their selection and with their goodies
now in-tow, Roberts will often gently clutch a patron’s arm,
smile, and say, “Don’t leave them in your car, you will
have chocolate soup!”
Each day I learn something more.
Recently, as he is about to leave the shop, he asks if there’s
anything I need. I assure him that I am alright. Then, in his charismatic
accent and with a twinkle in his eye, he says, “Ok, I go then.
I see you tomorrow.”
As I close up my chocolate shop for the day I am reminded to turn
on the small spotlight that has illuminated the time-honored sign
of his for almost 30 years…And I think to myself, “yes,
I will see you tomorrow…..”