How sweet it is: Award-winning chocolatier makes headlines working out of nursing home
An award-winning Danish chocolate maker whose clients include Michelin-star chefs is gaining attention for cooking up his creations in an unlikely place — a nursing home.
Chocolatier Mikkel Friis-Holm was in search of a kitchen to launch his own company in 2014 when local officials suggested he check out Hvalsø Ældrecenter, a nursing and rehabilitation center in Hvalsø, Denmark. The facility's kitchen, which used to provide food for other local facilities, had sat unused since food production for area providers moved to Copenhagen, about an hour away.
"The municipality gave us a good deal, and it was the perfect way to get started," Friis-Holm told online news outlet Vice in an article published Wednesday. “The nursing home's management is very modern. Ten years ago they might have said, 'Although the building is empty, you can't use it.' Instead, they thought, 'Here we have an opportunity to help a local guy start his business, so why not [let him] use the facility?'”
Friis-Holm won seven awards at last year's International Chocolate Awards, and continues to garner praise for the chocolate he and his six employees crank out.
Most importantly, he's received a delectable reception from the nursing home residents. They frequently get to taste Friis-Holm's creations, and get treats on their birthday.
"They're probably getting more chocolate cake here than elsewhere,” Friis-Holm told Vice. “But we've gotta be good neighbors. That's the most important thing, because we're literally under the same roof."