Hardly anyone today can recall the joy of exchanging a fistful of coins for Mehrbaum’s delicate hand-made chocolate morsels. Mehrbaum’s was the nineteenth-century German confection shoppe that made passersby inhale deeply. Then Mister Mehrbaum decided to leave.
But he had foresight.
He trained (with brutal intensity) his long-time friend and fellow chocolate lover Jacob Frankel on classic methods. Once it was clear Jacob had mastered the training, he was given the closely-guarded family recipe. Mehrbaum boarded a ship left the US forever.
Today, the 3rd generation of Frankels is running things.
Every chocolate brand is faced with two opand tions.
One is to study what’s out there and do whatever's trending. Nothing wrong with that. It’s an intelligent way to build a stable brand. Cover bands might be reproducing someone else's music, doesn’t mean they aren’t talented musicians themselves.
But there is this other path. Here, the artist rejects all norms and explores their own interpretation. They’ll likely make mistakes and have to return to the drawing board often. There is suffering in this path. And self-doubt. But it’s the one we chose for ourselves.