Brand Stories

Bahen & Co.

Bahen & Co.  is one of our fabulous pantry brands here at Father Rabbit, treating us all with a glorious variety of chocolate. Not only are these bars delicious, they also are packaged beautifully, with each unique print inspired by the journey the chocolate makers took in order to source the finest quality ingredients. We decided to delve a little deeper into the Bahen & Co. brand and the origins of their cacao to find out why we can’t put this chocolate down!



Bahen & Co. care about each step that their chocolate takes from bean to bar. Their beans are sourced from all over the world and made into chocolate at the beautiful Margaret River in Western Australia. Founder Josh Bahen has a history in winemaking that has equipped him with a passion for fine craftsmanship and patience when creating goodies. Bahen and his team produce their wonderful blocks of chocolate using ancient machinery and harvesting techniques. They recovered their over 100 year old winnower from an abandoned chocolate factory in Latin America, and use this still today to break the beans and harvest the cacao nibs. Then to combine these cacao nibs with raw sugar, they use a Guitard Melangeur dating back to 1910 to grind down the ingredients into a rich chocolate paste.




At Bahen & Co, they believe that the quality of their chocolate comes down to sourcing the best of the best cacao. Because of this belief, they spend most of their spare time scouring the world for the rarest and most heritage rich sources of cacao that in turn offer the most beautiful and rich flavours. Each of Bahen & Co.’s chocolates are unique and this calls for the use of a variety of cacao sourced from different areas of the world that each produce different tastes. 



Papua New Guinea is one of the places Bahen & Co. have found to produce gorgeous cacao. The beans are harvested from a plantation near Medang in the Morobe Province that sits deep in a valley surrounded by mountain ranges. The original cacao planted here was derived from flavour varieties that originate from heritage Trinitario beans that were said to be first introduced by the colonial Germans from Samoa in the early 20th century. Bahen & Co. pins the high quality of their Papua New Guinea cacao down to the heirloom genetics, plentiful rainfall combined with hot and dry weather and fabulous farming standards and practices. This all mixed together creates the perfect recipe for chocolate that is described by Bahen & Co. as bright and luscious with hints of strawberry cream, red fruit and sweet pipe tobacco. 




To find some of the most aromatic cacao on the planet today, you’ll have to travel to a small farm in Madagascar where Bahen & Co. source another one of their beans. The farm has been producing cacao since 1920 and is located on rich fertile soil in the Sambirano Valley. You know these beans are special when locals refer to them as ‘green gold.’ The cacao at this particular farm originated from Venezuela and Mexico, and the genetics of the crop travelled across the Pacific and Indian Ocean in the late 17th century. The beans Bahen & Co. use from this farm are processed and dried using a modern box fermentation technique allowing the beans flavours to intensify. This chocolate is filled with citrusy flavours, and hints of ripe raisins and red berries.



Once lost in the jungles of the Mata Atlantica, Bahen & Co.’s cacao source in Brazil was planted in the late 1950’s and after being abandoned for years, it was reopened in 2009. There is now a small village next to the plantation that houses the twenty farmers that work on the farm and refer to the village as paradise. The flavourful bloodlines of this bean contributed the the glory Bahia held in the early 20th century when it was known as one of the world’s greatest cacao regions. The beans Bahen & Co. harvest from Brazil are turned into a bold chocolate that bursts of mulled wine and fruit cake.

 



We love Bahen & Co. more and more with each delivery we get. From the beautifully vibrant packaging to the aromatic tastes derived from Madagascar, Brazil and Papua New Guinea, these little blocks of chocolate are hard to beat. Pop into one of our Father Rabbit stores or shop our Bahen & Co. range online now to give the perfect gift every time, even if it’s all for you!

Veja

Veja is one of our most sought after brands here at Father Rabbit, with a gorgeous range of sneakers that everyone wants their hands on, and feet in! The french brand Veja's range of footwear embodies a minimalistic look and feel, but behind the scenes and in production they are a brand with a lot of good stuff going on that we had to share with you. In this blog post we thought we would let you know why we and so many others love our footwear range from Veja.
Veja founders Sébastien Kopp and François-Ghislain Morillion believe in creating a positive chain with their products by designing sneakers that are made with sustainable practices and innovative materials. Veja describes their values by saying that they have one foot in the high end fashion industry, and the other in the ecological world. They carefully source their materials from various locations around the world, ensuring they deliver the highest quality products whilst leaving behind the smallest footprint.
For the soles of the Veja sneakers, they use eco-friendly wild rubber from the Amazon forest. Veja works with Brazilian seringueiros (rubber gatherers) who use a traditional technique to bleed the amazonian rubber trees and harvest the natural latex they produce. After applying a coagulating agent and drying the latex into rubber sheets at their homes, the seringueiros are then left with the final piece of rubber that is purer and more elastic than the standard. As well as creating jobs for the seringueiros, in France Veja’s logistics warehouse provides rehabilitation through work for incarcerated and vulnerable individuals.
Veja's B-mesh and Hexamesh ranges stole our hearts with not only their stylish and modern design, but also the creative decisions behind the shoe. B-mesh stands for bottle mesh, and this is because the mesh detailing on these sneakers is made from 100% recycled plastic bottles in Santo Andre, Brazil. The bottles are collected, picked through and then transformed into small plastic flakes that are turned into a polyester fibre. We adore how light and breathable this material feels, and they are also waterproof which is always amazing in a shoe. To produce a pair of Veja sneakers it takes three plastic bottles that would usually end up clogging up landfills or our oceans.
 
Fast fashion is another environmental issue Veja tackles by upcycling fashion industry waste into high fashion sneakers. Veja recycles cotton, jute and polyester and gives the discarded materials a second life by transforming them into new fabrics for their shoes.
We are so excited about our incoming Campo sneakers from the Veja Autumn/Winter 2019 range, with some styles featuring chrome-free leather. They feel lovely and smooth and are also light on the feet. The leather is innovatively tanned without the use of any nasties like chrome, heavy metals and hazardous acids. Veja simplified the steps it took to create these wonderful sneakers, and in turn reduced the chemicals and energy used and lessened their water usage by around 40%.
Another fabulous thing about Veja is that they cater to everyone by offering vegan styles in their range. We love our SDU and canvas Nova selection and know you will too! The SDU shoe features mesh detailing made from the plastic bottles mentioned earlier, as well as vegan suede and recycled polyester. If it is a more simple shoe you’re after, we think the Nova range would be perfect for you. Nova is available in leather or if you’d prefer a 100% vegan sneaker, opt for the canvas version.
 
Despite Veja vowing to never spend money on advertising and instead put their profits towards sourcing the best materials they can, Veja has blown up across the world, and rightfully so we think. We are honoured to stock this amazing brand and product here at Father Rabbit and are eager to share these beautiful sneakers with you!

Pallares Knives

Nick and I first discovered Pallarès on Pinterest. We couldn’t look past these series of beautiful photos of stunning knives. We instantly agreed that the knives had such a nostalgic feel to them and so we ordered a couple to try out at home. Admittedly, I had no idea about the merits of carbon steel and stainless steel knives but I was so impressed by just how sharp the knives were as well as how great they felt to use. We reached out to David, who manufactures Pallarès in Spain, and we fell in love with the company’s story. For the past five years, we’ve been working directly with David and his small team and we couldn’t be more pleased to showcase these beautiful knives.



In Solsona, a small municipality in Catalonia, Spain, the knife industry is a tradition that dates back to the sixteenth century. Pallarès was founded in 1917 and is today the only testimony to this local history. Pallarès is a family run business and throughout its history and right up until today, they seek out the highest quality materials to offer the best performing cutting edge.

With the Pallarès range, it’s really important to consider the materials used for the blades. Most of the range is available in either carbon steel or stainless steel. Whilst both are sharp and enduring, this is largely a personal choice. It really depends on the level of care you want to give your knife set. Carbon steel blades typically require a little more care and attention because the blade itself will patina over time. Patina is a very natural process that causes a slight superficial discolouration to the carbon steel. This is because the blade comes in contact with salt, acids and moisture throughout its daily use. It’s important to note however that the patina itself creates a seal like layer to the blade and this will go towards preventing any rusting.



One of the benefits of choosing a carbon steel blade is that carbon steel is harder than stainless steel. This means the blade is sharper and thus it holds its sharp edge longer. A sharper knife often means more precision when you cut and it also makes using the knife a lot safer.

If you’re looking for a knife that doesn’t require this level of care however, the stainless steel blade is a fantastic option. Stainless steel blades are typically composed with chromium. Chromium is what makes stainless steel resistant to rust and discolouration. As we mentioned, stainless steel isn’t as sharp as carbon steel so you may need to sharpen your stainless steel blades more frequently to ensure great performance.



With knife sharpening, it’s useful to distinguish the methods for aligning the blade and sharpening the blade. A knife sharpening or honing steel is designed to align the beveled edge of the knife blade. This isn’t something you can see on your knife, it happens on a microscopic level, but it is something you can feel when you use your knife. Your knife may have previously felt sharp as a razor but it can start to catch on the food you're cutting and provide a little resistance. By using the sharpening steel on your knife, you’re pulling that beveled edge back into alignment and giving the knife it’s cutting power back. If you feel though that this isn’t improving the performance of your knife, this is when it’s best to take your knives along to a specialist knife sharpener.

As with the choice of material for the blade, there is also a choice in the material of the handle. Pallarès offers beautiful wooden handled knives in a variety of knife lengths as well as rubber handles in their Professional series. The Professional series forms Pallarès high end offering. Of course, they are made of high quality stainless steel and designed to be robust enough for the day to day demands of the busy kitchen; be it commercial or a home enthusiast. The Professional range includes a few different knife shapes including the Santoku, the Slicing Knife, the Chef’s Knife and the Usuba.



In addition to the knife range, Pallarès has a series of gardening tools as well as fireplace accessories. You can read all about their iconic orange handled gardening tools in a previous blog post. For your fireplace, the Pallarès Firewood Tongs are a beautiful addition. The traditional design of the tongs in jet black hand forged steel will assist you in safely placing more wood into your fire in the cooler months.

The Pallarès range is really special to Father Rabbit. Not only because of our longstanding relationship with the Pallarès team, but we’re so admirable of the values of the brand and the high standards that they set for themselves. We are firm believers in that there is a purpose in finding the best practice for everyday tasks. We can’t help but feel that Pallarès captures this sentiment by offering the most beautiful, practical, well-priced knives to take centre stage in your home kitchen.