Custom Chocolates are Oh So Sweet
Native Brazilian Aline Katz Rod is making bespoke chocolate and sweets out of her home for mitzvahs, families, and businesses.
After 35 years with the Atlanta newspapers, Marcia currently serves as Retail VP for the Buckhead Business Association, where she delivers news and trends (laced with a little gossip).
Luca Chocolaterie Aline Katz Rod, head chef and owner, grew up in a family where the sweetest memories were made around a table full of amazing food.
She said, “We were never great cooks or bakers – my mom can barely boil water – but I grew up getting to know the world and its cultures through the food.”
Out of her Sandy Springs home, she handmakes incredible confections for some top-tier clients. Currently, her consistent best sellers are the Giant Carrot Cake Bar and Gummy Bear cake. Then, there’s white chocolate raspberry cheesecake, truffle boxes, and Nostalgia Bars, designed to bring fans back to the “good ole days.”
Katz Rod started her business in Israel in 2016 as a food blog. In 2018, after graduating as a professional cook, she opened another business in Herzlia. Eventually, she reopened in Atlanta just before the COVID lockdown. She insisted on keeping it open during the pandemic and is glad she made that decision.
Everything is prepared from her home kitchen while watching over two children, ages one and four. She stated, “More often than I wish, I work. I work under the cottage law, so I’m not allowed to have professional machinery. Everything I use is available for any home cook out there!”
Interestingly, Katz Rod is a former economist who worked on the trading floor for many years. Cooking was the way she found stress release. She said, “It was a hobby that became my métier.”
In terms of special events, she remarked, “Every event is special! A small simple cake to celebrate a baby’s first year, a naked cake to be cut together by the newly engaged couple, bonbons made with your brand’s colors to thank your collaborators for a great year doing business together. More than being part of big famous events, my goal is to be a sweet part of my customers’ sweetest days!”
Asked if she had a base formula, she stated, “Every product is designed together with the client and every element – from ingredients to packaging – are thought out to be unique and meaningful for the occasion.”
To get the right design and formula, she does her own pattern sketching, often with hours of trial and error. For chocolate, she uses polycarbonate molds, and her latest acquisition is a cocoa butter creamer. Cakes take anywhere from two to 10 hours to complete. Chocolates take at least five days from start to finish. In addition to weddings and mitzvahs, her unique business orders were for Bulleit (bourbon) and Bugatti exotic cars. She catered an unusual bachelorette party with an outrageous themed design “SAME P*NIS FOREVER.”
Examples of Luca Chocolaterie’s prices include:
• Giant Carrot Bar — $38
• The Small Brigadeiro box — $12
• Raspberry Cheesecake — $50
Jewish-themed goodies include chocolate-covered matzot, sufganyiot, and Rosh Hashanah honey-themed items. She uses Haribo gummy bears. Her kitchen is not kosher, but most of her products are kosher, and she will accommodate changes on brands to make them kosher for a specific project. All tools are used exclusively for work.
Cakes last for about five days and chocolates are formulated to last from eight to 12 weeks, depending on the filling. Katz Rod does her own delivery and setup with her four-year-old “helping” with the tapes and ribbons.
Katz Rod has a passion for sharing her trade, especially when it comes to educating children about cooking. She noted, “Children are so smart and talented! My kid’s classes start at $60, and I offer packages for groups and birthday parties. I can either travel to their place or they can come to mine.”
Like many thriving cottage industries, her projects are found through word of mouth from satisfied customers and social media. For more information, call Luca Chocolaterie at (470) 985-6356.