Fritz Knipschildt's chocolates have come to define “sweet success.”Fritz Knipschildt has made a big name for himself in the rarefied world of chocolate. “On my father’s side of the family are all artists, and on my mother’s side are all entrepreneurs,” he says. “I guess a little bit of both rubbed off on me.” Indeed, creativity, a knack for entrepreneurship—and a whole lot of hard work—have led to extraordinary success of the Norwalk chocolatier.
Knipschildt grew up in Odense, Denmark, and was working in restaurant kitchens by the time he was 13. He attended hotel and restaurant school, did stints at a couple of top French restaurants, and in 1996, at age 20, came to the U.S., working as a private chef, and at Le Chateau in South Salem, N.Y., to get his green card. Even then, young Knipschildt knew exactly where he was headed. “My dream had always been to one day be cooking with chocolate,” he says.
He began experimenting with sweet-and-savory combinations in his Norwalk apartment kitchen, using only top-grade chocolate and adding in exotic flavors like chipotle, cayenne and balsamic vinegar. He moved to bigger digs, and soon got a huge boost when his dark chocolate truffles were named one of the Top 3 in the World by Gourmet magazine. In 2005, he opened Chocopologie in SoNo, a café/chocolate shop/manufacturing facility (where all of his Knipschildt chocolates are still made).
Today, House of Knipschildt’s exquisite handcrafted truffles—made with the finest quality chocolates from Ecuador, Costa Rica, Thailand and Papua New Guinea (he imported six tons in 2013)—are carried at top national retailers like Whole Foods, Balducci’s and Dean & DeLuca. Each signature collection comes in a handmade paper box, marked with a six-month shelf life; there’s also a secondary, less expensive "Chocopologie" line.
Knipschildt is also known to many from his appearances on “Chopped,” “Throwdown with Bobby Flay,” “The Martha Stewart Show” and “Food Network Challenge.”