Toronto, a delicious chocolate…
Toronto by Nestle, the chocolate bonbon you know and love, consists of a hazelnut covered in chocolate. A small but extremely delicious treat. The history of the Toronto, and the Savoy company- which is now emblematic of the “Venezuelan flavour”- is an incredible immigrant success story.
The origins of Nestle’s Savoy
At the beginning of the 20th century, at 19 years old, Ernst Weitz left Poland and became an apprentice industrial confectioner in Vienna, where he met Rodolfo, Roberto and Fernando Beer, three Austrian brothers who were his former bosses during his time in Vienna. During the war period, Weitz left Vienna for Maracaibo to flee from the war. As it turned out, the Beer brothers, who would become the founders of Savoy, had also fled to Venezuela and set up a shop called “Pasteleria Vienesa” in Sabana Grande. The business was very prosperous and, eventually, the Beer brothers founded Savoy in Caracas, Venezuela in 1941. Their partner, John Miller, also brought machinery from Scotland to elaborate the chocolates. Together they created many other loved Venezuelan chocolates such as samba.
The work of Ernst Weitz in Savoy
Ernst Weitz became a key part in the initial team of the now-infamous Venezuelan confectionary company, Savoy. His specialty were the industrial processes involved. “In year 42 there were three brothers and a small team. Everything was very rudimentary, and we worked up to 24 hours a day to achieve the first products “, says Ernst. He was involved in developing the machinery and processes as well as the packaging needed to convert the savoy into a mass-producing company.
The invention of Toronto
In 1949, toronto chocolate was introduced into the market. Although Toronto was not the invention of Ernst Weitz, as he says, “I did not invent it, I helped develop it”, he was involved heavily in its evolution. He created the process and facilitated the production of the delicious Toronto. The making of toronto involved covering the hazelnut with a soft hazlenut chocolate paste, a second layer of chocolate and then a third layer for shine consisting of a thin syrup. Ernst Weitz and the Beer brothers had a lot to do with “the Venezuelan flavour” and much of the Venezuelan chocolate treats we still enjoy today.
Acquisition by Nestle
Eventually, in 1988, Nestlé (a transnational corporation) acquired Savoy and substituted its original crown logo for the Nestlé logo on all the packaging along with Savoy above it.