Meet Vancouver's artisanal chocolate Easter egg maker
Giant 30-pound chocolate Easter egg among Thomas Haas' seasonal mainstays
Thomas Hass doesn't take Easter eggs lightly.
The fourth generation patissier holds himself to a high standard. He learned how to handcraft chocolates and pastries at the cafe his great-grandfather opened in the Black Forest Region of Germany nearly 100 years ago.
"It's talent a little bit," he said. "But it's joyful hard work. You have to enjoy the hard work, that's what it is, and you must love chocolate and food and creating with your hands."
In fact, some of his treats might not be easy to hide in a traditional Easter egg hunt.
Haas owns two patisseries in Vancouver, developing complex and intricate chocolate treats. Even some of his smaller pieces contain more than two dozen individual pieces.
Chief among Haas' creations is one giant 30-pound chocolate egg — complete with a sculpture of a spring bloom emerging from the centre — and everything is edible.
He admits putting together artisanal chocolates is hard work — but he's not complaining. He pushes to keep the tradition of small batch production and has 38 dedicated employees who hand spin the treats.
Every holiday the Thomas Haas stores raise money for charity.
His staff work almost 100 hours on the giant Easter egg pieces that he raffles off. He gives the money from the raffle to the Downtown Eastside Women's Centre and the North Shore Crisis Services Society.
Haas' designs are ever changing and his staff are involved in coming up with different figures and themes to work into chocolate.
"Easter is a celebration of fun for us," he said. "It brings the kid out of us."
With files from CBC's Our Vancouver