Tom Schoemaker, business development director, and Bart de Gans, executive pastry chef, explain the details of “breaks the rules” this groundbreaking line for pastry decoration of the Dutch firm Dobla in these interviews.
Interview with Tom Schoemaker, business development director
Why is it necessary to “break the rules” (break the rules) when decorating cakes and desserts?
Consumers, fueled by social media and the internet, have become more demanding. They are not easy to surprise. And yet, that’s what Dobla makes Dobla. We always try and challenge ourselves to be at forefront of innovation. Our goal is to inspire our partners so they can add value to their products. In order to be able to surprise the customer in 2015, we have to think out of the box and come up with something completely different. Or: breaking rules, do and act beyond the normal. Mind you, all based upon thorough research. We asked our target group about their needs and kept an open dialogue with Chefs and In Store bakers. The translation of their needs into new concepts is the result of a combination of pure craftsmanship from our top Chefs and creativity from the rest of our team.
The big difference in terms of this new line’s point of view is emerging from the sector’s needs. What process is followed to determine those needs?
Our users and consumers are central in all we do and develop. We follow a process to gather relevant insights and use this as base for all our introductions. During the entire process of development we ask them for feedback. We amend and improve on basis of their input and we will only introduce the product as they are fully satisfied.
In order to be able to surprise the customer in 2015, we have to think out of the box and come up with something completely different. Or: breaking rules, do and act beyond the normal. Mind you, all based upon thorough research
What are the main aesthetic attractions of this new line of decorations? Is it safe to say that it is less colorful than other lines? Why?
We have introduced 5 new concepts that all meet the requirements of both classical and contemporary pastry. Each concept has its own specific look-and-feel, shape, texture and colors. They have one thing in common: they all have a handmade design. Also towards are packaging we made sure to present it in best way to use, but also to make sure breakage is limited to a minimum.
What are the main advantages from a practical standpoint?
During the process of developing Story in a Box we created the disque. With the disque our customers can easily assemble their own story. When the consumer starts to divide the cake amongst the quests, he can put the disque with its décor aside. Our ‘One Pieces’-concept is based upon the idea that you can decorate any average size of cake, with just one piece of decoration. Very practical and efficient. Our new assortment ‘Supports’ can be used on both sides: one shiny and one more matte colour.
How many references or models are included in this new range?
We are introducing across 5 new concepts more then 35 new products. These products range from handmade chickens and gifts for Story in the Box to rings and rectangles for the One Piece-concept.
Will the new line be marketed in the same way around the world? Are there different references in each country?
All these concepts were first introduced during the IBA 2015 in Munich and are now available across the world.
Interview with Bart de Gans, Dobla Executive Pastry Chef
What does Dobla’s new line of decorations give to the artisan pastry chef?
“The products are made by professionals for professionals. The professionals that designed our products developed their vision from the craft. The professionals who use our products only had to put aside their hesitations to buy a purchased product. And they could do that easily because these are handmade products with an underlying philosophy that everyone can recognize and acknowledge.
What are the main differences compared to previous collections?
These products are based upon market research. We reversed the process. Our starting point used to be the cake, pie or dessert. Now we started with a theme or philosophy and created a complete range –the whole picture- of decorations that can be used on any cake, pie or dessert. You get a more focused product that responds to the market.
We reversed the process. Our starting point used to be the cake, pie or dessert. Now we started with a theme or philosophy and created a complete range –the whole picture- of decorations that can be used on any cake, pie or dessert
How can a cake be personalized with standard decorations? What aesthetic resources does the new line bring for personalization?
We found a way to get synergy between the product and the underlying thought with new innovative technologies. Every product actually has a handmade finish. That’s what Dobla distinguish from others and that is what makes the product to me so attractive. Everything is possible!
When decorating a cake, is less more? Or is it better if there is more than enough?
Less is more. A chef is always looking for the perfect balance between a good product and an appropriate price. That balance is what counts. And that’s always better than more than enough.