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House of Anvers

Latrobe, Tasmania, Australia

A part-time job in a bakery prepping fruit flans and ice cream when Igor was 12 years old led to a life-long dream of owning his own business. He knew it would be tough, but he also knew the chance to use his creativity and pursue his passion would make the initial stress and financial uncertainty worth it. 


Igor started creating delectable treats from scratch in his own home kitchen and has spent the last 35 years building and expanding the House of Anvers into the chocolate lover's haven that it is today. He continues to search for new varieties of cacao with which to create new couverture delights, looking as far afield as the Amazon forest.  




How do you separate your personal life from your life at Anvers?

It is a little easier now that I have been in business for 35 years but in the beginning, I really had to diarize time for everything. I had to remind myself constantly that family time and "self" time are just as important.

What’s your favourite ‘me time’ thing to do to relax?

I love exploring new parts of the world, spending time with loved ones and I try and get a few tarmac rallies in every year. The concentration needed to complete a rally clears my head of any other thoughts, a little like meditation but a lot more fun.

What nice surprises have you found in running Anvers?

Definitely my customers!!! They are the best people. Most people are very appreciative of the work we put into our passion: delivering the best in chocolate experiences. Every day we get unexpected compliments from customers. This is what it's all about.

Have there been any not-so-nice surprises?

Yes :-). I would lie if I said that all is always rosy in my business, but I don't like to dwell on the negatives.

Do you have any advice for someone contemplating opening or buying a café?

1) Follow your passion but don't neglect to look at your product/service offering from your customer's point of view.

2) Learn basic accounting (I know it sounds boring but having your business' figures and costings in your head at all times allows you to make decisions on the run).

Did you put any personal touches into Anvers that make it unique or set it apart?

I built my business around what I am passionate about: cacao and chocolate. I travel the world looking for rare varieties of cacao and I really enjoy creating offerings with these throughout our menu; be it chocolates, patisserie, and even savoury dishes.

Do you have any funny or favourite customer stories?

I can't disclose the best stories as they are too embarrassing for either myself, my staff, or the customers in question, but here is one I do recall: We had a new staff member serve a customer from the USA. The American gentleman ordered a coffee with "cream". The staff member in question was a little puzzled by this and proceeded to make a Vienna coffee. Needless to say, the gentleman was equally stumped and only after a very confusing conversation they worked out that what we call milk in the coffee, it is commonly known as cream in many parts of the US.

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