There’s nothing we’d like more than to show you exactly how the creative brains at the Deli Garage come up with their ideas for our products. Unfortunately, due to a lack of brainwave measuring equipment, we can’t. But what we can show you is how those ideas eventually make their way on to the material plane. For example, how are Candy Tools made? Well, their life begins at a small sweet makers in Bremen, where there’s a lot to be learnt about the sticky business of candy making. Here’s what we discovered on our expedition. In four steps:
Step One: Be well prepared.
Ok, nothing new for hobby chefs. A tidy and well-planned kitchen and you’re already half way home. What else is needed to make Candy Tools? A hotplate, a saucepan, a thermometer, a very large amount of sugar, glucose syrup, and natural colourings and flavours.
Step Two: Turn up the heat.
After all the ingredients have been mixed together, it’s time to get the heat up to 70 °F (or 21.1 °C). This is a very important step in the procedure, the make or break so to speak, as the honey-like mass will only reach the required consistency if it is heated to the optimal temperature. And there’s no going back and trying again. The mixture can only be heated once.
Step Three: Into the moulds.
Now our custom-made candy moulds come into their own. Without them, it would be impossible to make screwdriver shaped lollies. Important tip at this point in the proceedings - the gloves don’t just look nice, you need them. Very, very hot and very, very sticky!
Last Step: Appraisal of the results.
Repeated Last Step: Proper appraisal of the results.
Not everything that’s made in The Deli Garage will have the pleasure of a rendezvous with the world’s finest palates. Some, quite simply, bomb in the cradle. Others can only be produced at first as a limited edition. But it’s the tricky, seemingly unsolvable problems that we get particularly enthusiastic about. For the specialists at the Deli Garage developing novel ideas and creations and readying them for serial production is what gets our motor running. One example is our Parmesan Cheese Pencils – up to now only attainable in a limited edition but already awarded with the Silver Lion for Design in Cannes.
Amazing how sweet a day at the building site can be. Well, at least if you’re using the new Deli Garage creation, Brickstones. Our chocolate and stracciatella cake mix, bagged up in mini cement sacks, will inspire you to construct great works of confectionary architecture. Adieu cupcakes, muffins and donuts! Now you can have building bricks on the tea table. Even if you are blessed with two left thumbs, it’s easy, using your hands as a shovel, to fill the cake mix into the six accompanying cake moulds. Considering our demands on modern architecture, it won’t come as much of a surprise to learn that the chocolate cake mix is gluten-free and the stracciatella contains pure spelt wheat only. See below for construction plans.
The Harz region is not only known for its boulders and mounds but also as the home of the smallest distillery in central and northern Germany. The Deli Garage ‚Power Fuel’ is distilled here by hand, using old and traditional production methods. First, the wheat malt is ground and mixed with water and yeast. Multiple distillation processes yield the refined distillate that makes up the basis of our Power Fuel. While that’s going on, flavour-giving components are being leached from selected fruits and herbs using a mixture of alcohol and water, a process known as natural maceration. This procedure can take between 8 and 40 weeks and is the most time-consuming part of the production. Finally, the extracted blackberry, ginger/coriander, espresso and mint flavours are mixed into the distillate. A touch of sweetness rounds off the 40% proof Power Fuel before it’s poured, by hand, into the beautifully illustrated stainless steel hip flasks.
At the Deli Garage, not only is the packaging prizewinning - the contents are too. To keep things that way, we regularly visit our factories to see for ourselves the excellent quality of the raw materials that go into our products. This time, our journey took us to Catalonia, home of the olives for our Oil Change.
The olive oil from the Deli Garage comes exclusively from Arbequina olives. This type of olive produces a particularly mild olive oil that with a slight taste of almonds. Unlike methods used in mass production, the farmers our manufacturers work with aren't just out for quick profits, they pay attention to sustainability. For example, the trees: they aren't as close to each other as in other fields and don't destroy the land. They have plenty of space to grow and can be cultivated for many years. This type of cultivation also doesn't allow machine harvesting - our olives are all harvested carefully by hand.
Of course, we also got our own hands dirty and swapped our desks for gloves and aprons for a few hours to climb into the trees and harvest olives. Three experienced harvesters need 15 minutes for one tree - it took six of us over an hour. The result of this long, hard day was five harvested trees and 100 kg of olives, something we're very proud of. By the way, this amount only produces 13 litres of olive oil.
Salvador, the olive grower, and Josep Maria, the owner of the oil mill, watch our efforts with a grin...
Immediately after harvesting, the olives are brought to the oil mill to clean off the leaves and any dirt. Afterwards the olives are cleaned in a home-made "washing machine" construction, which is designed to use as little water as possible.
The cleaned olives are then put into the oil mill. Until a few years ago a traditional mill was still used with millstones, but nowadays they work with a modern hammer mill. It may be somewhat less romantic, but has enormous advantages in terms of taste. Different to millstones, hammer mills generate no heat through friction, which would cause the oil to lose its unique, delicate flavour. Finally, besides Arbequina olives, fresh rosemary, red peppers and lemons from Josep Maria's garden are also fed into the mill for authentic essential oils. Afterwards, the oil is coarsely filtered; another important distinction to mass production, where the oil is pressed through nano-screens and not only loses all the turbidity, but also the individual taste of the oil. At the end of our journey, the olive oil is now bottled, and the bottles are then glued by hand and packaged in gift boxes.
More pictures on our Facebook-Page!
We at the Garage love metal. Especially when it's precious. Three new highly polished Pentawards recently arrived and make great new additions to our shelves. One in platinum and two in gold. That makes us especially happy, not just because the Pentaward is the only international competition dedicated exclusively to packaging design, but also because the competition was heated with entries from 39 countries. Encouraged by this success, we're back in the Garage tinkering and pottering away on new ideas. Until then, here's some nice photos of the winners beaming.
Try and copy that! No sooner have our products left the garage than they're already being shown in museums? Food Finish, Powerfuel, Honey Tube, Oil Change and Grape Battery are all part of an exhibition called "Don't label me! Outstanding Packaging Design from around the Globe". The whole thing is on from 23 September until 23 December at the Direktorenhaus art space in Berlin. However, if you prefer applied arts, you can also view the exhibits in the comfort of your own – thanks to our store.