Brazil’s Chocolate Q on UK debut and getting in shape for Rio Olympics

By Douglas Yu

- Last updated on GMT

Aquim will extend the hours of its boutique store in Ipanema during the upcoming Olympics.
Aquim will extend the hours of its boutique store in Ipanema during the upcoming Olympics.
UK chocolate fans are being offered a taste of Brazil through bean-to-bar chocolate company Aquim.

The business has this year brought luxury brand Chocolate Q to the UK through upmarket retailers Harrods, Fortnum & Mason and Selfridges in London.

With a retail price of $6 (£4.50) for a 50g bar, the Chocolate Q brand is available in a range of strengths from 55% cocoa to 100% cocoa, and uses beans exclusively sourced from Leolinda farm in Bahia.

“There cocoa is harvested and fermented,” ​said chief executive officer Rodrigo Aquim. “And the beans are personally selected by the chef Samantha Akim. Aside from the selection of beans, she defines how the roasting and conching time will be with each chocolate bar.”

Internationalizing local brand

Aquim added he was seeking to internationalize Chocolate Q through exports, and feels the British public is "very receptive" ​to new products.

“Our biggest goal is to show people the essence of [Brazilian] cocoa," ​he said.

In addition to the UK, Chocolate Q is available in Le Bon Marches in Paris, and Corte Inglés in Lisbon.  

Preparing for the Olympics

Aquim said his chocolate has strong appeal with foreign tourists, and the business operates three boutique stores in Rio de Janeiro - in Ipanema, Barra Da Tijuca and the Geleao International Airport.

Expecting increased custom during the Rio Olympics next month, Aquim is set to increase its inventory and to hire more staff, said the company. It is also extending the opening hours of its store in Ipanema.

“Our stores are all located at strategic points of Rio de Janeiro. In our Ipanema store, we also serve coffee and hot chocolate in addition to Chocolate Q,”​ said Aquim. “We believe that this moment will be an opportunity to present our product to foreigners who have a strong desire to know our tropical country.”

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