Omnom Chocolate: Reykjavik’s hidden secret. Shhh.

Reykjavik, despite being frozen most of the year, is a city that is constantly blooming. One area in full bloom is the reclaimed Docks just north of the Old West Side. Old rusted warehouses are now giant canvases housing pop up bespoke shops & savory nibble spots that definitely emit Brooklyn vibes.

This area is just lousy with Pinterest perfect shops selling couture cod liver oil, bespoke boutiques with enough black to satisfy an upper east sider, quiet coffee clutches where you can finally find an outlet, sick street art that will challenge your perspective, and a bunch of bad-ass breweries where bros get their barley on.

While this treasure trove of hipster delights will surely intoxicate you, there is one place that will have you blackout drunk. May I introduce you to Omnom, Iceland’s only chocolate factory.

So, Omnom was founded by childhood friends Kjartan Gíslason and Óskar Þórðarson in 2013.  Omnom sources their beans from three farms just straddling the equator, chosen not only for the unique quality of their fruit, but also for being all fair trade, organic, and independently owned. Bertil Akesson’s Madagascar beans are fruit forward with a punch of bright acidity. Simran and Brian’s beans from KoKoa Kamili, Tanzania are smooth and fragrant and Ingemann’s in Nicaraguaare earthy and robust, and all of them are fair trade, independently owned, and environmentally conscious. When you consider 2 million children are used as labor to supply the world’s chocolate demand, finding ethically sourced cocoa beans is a really really big deal.

And while their cocoa is definitely special, the real magic to Omnom’s chocolate comes from their Icelandic milk.  This protected breed of cattle brought from norway over a thousand years ago have a unique grazing habit and diet that give their milk a beautiful rich quality that simply is unlike any other cow juice on the planet. This is Viking milk after all.

Omnoms attention to detail doesn’t end in their unique recipe, but continues even in their artful packaging. Designed within an inch of its life they are hand wrapped with care, and sheathed in beautifully illustrated envelopes, some with hidden easter eggs.

All organic, all giving back to the communities, all sourced by local farmers,  these bars of true Icelandic joy are handmade, heart forward and happy, making them not just tastes good but feel good chocolate. and quite certainly the best thing to come out of a gas station.

Get your sweet on here and visit Omnom Chocolate: http://www.omnomchocolate.com

I hope you enjoyed this documentary. Just so everyone knows I wasn’t paid in any way to make this; it comes purely from the respect I have for what this company does and the joy their product brings (like all our films;). It was written, shot and edited by me, Roberto Serrini, with some supplemental footage that I linked to down below (thank you!) to help tell the story of cocoa and it’s delicate trade process. Please be conscious of your consumer choices, it does make a difference. Click here If you would like to know more of how child labor/slavery affects the cocoa trade and how to help.

Thanks!

Rs

-Roberto Serrini is a filmmaker with a true passion for travel and storytelling. His work can be seen at http://www.robertoserrini.com or http://www.getlostmagazine.com where he is a staff travel journalist. Roberto is the co-creator of TravelClast Channel on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/c/TravelClast with his travel partner Brad Stuart https://www.youtube.com/c/truetravelswithbrad

Credits:

Written, Directed, Shot, Edited, and Eaten by Roberto Serrini
http://www.robertoserrini.com

Special Thanks To:

Omnom Chocolate
Michael Ryan
Brad Stuart
Jackie Farris
The City of Reykjavik

Additional footage and research from:

Cacao Farming: Engr. Ernesto B. Pantua, Jr. Success Story
Does your class know what cacao is?
Fair trade in cocoa from the Ivory Coast
The history of chocolate – Deanna Pucciarelli

Stock footage and SFX:

http://www.Envato.com

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#reykjavik #omnomchocolate #chocolate

Amsterdam, I love you.

Amsterdam is impossible not to fall in love with, there are world class museums, endless canals, rivers of rose, fun people, amazing food, and of course lots of open mindedness about where and what you can smoke, yes, weed. No matter what your expectation might be of this city robbed from the sea, it will surely be blown away, offering you so much more than what you probably have read in travel guides or heard from your friends on their summer abroad. So come with us as we launch into Amsterdam with reckless abandon.

New Video Each Day!
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GEAR:
Drone: DJI Mavic https://goo.gl/jLa257
Camera: Sony A7rIII https://goo.gl/ijE1vZ
B Cam: Sony a6300 https://goo.gl/cs7AJm
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Tripod: Manfrotto 390 https://goo.gl/6PzxBv

I Hate I love Hudson Yards. Escape from NYC 2019.

Anyone familiar to NYC knows that malls aren’t common-place. You have your infamous shopping districts like soho, or your defunct Manhattan Mall where you can buy knock off Nikes and Hotdogs-on-a-stick, but a high end, fashion forward shopping mall is just something that Manhattan hasn’t supported, until now.

As a native New Yorker I hated Hudson Yards before it was even built. The idea of modern cathedral to illusive brands in the heart of what used to be the grit and grime of a soulful section of town was just footnote to the long diatribe about how Time’s Square used to be cool before Disneyfication. Anyone with proper experience will tell you it is easier to get an airline to wave a baggage fee then to have a New Yorker change their mind, yet here I was, upon first viewing of the glorious Hudson Yards, genuflecting as a complete convert. To my right was a frankly fighting concert hall with a retracting roof that looked like something out of a Michael Bay film. In front of me was a gleaming steel and glass palace to the finest retail humans could waist their hard earned coin on. At the center was, well, the Hive, the Giant Shawarma, the Mothership; a walkable art installation named “The Vessel” whose purpose was simply to amaze, and it does.

Dashing inside the mall you will encounter a shopping district similar to the grand concourses found in Singapore or Jakarta. Extremely exclusive shops, and high end restaurants inhabit the wide marble births of this cavernous 5 story womb to commerce. You can find anything here, from fashion to fragrance, candy to cars, and lots to nibble on in between. While you can opt for the extravagance of Milos, one of the finest restaurants in all of Manhattan, my personal favorite is Belcampo, part butcher part italian nibble shop, who’s hamburger is one of my favorites in the city; somehow light and airy while being extremely rich and lush at the same time. It’s best to grab a bite at one of the dozens of eateries before heading out to conquer The Vessel, and interactive art installation by madman Thomas Heatherwick which is comprised of over 2,500 individual steps and 80 landings offering some of the most unique views and instagrammable moments in the world.

I am the first person to admit I am horribly critical of anything new, especially when it changes the landscape of my beloved home NYC. It took me 40 of the 80 landings before I realized what “The Vessel” really offered; a fresh new perspective on a already well tread city. It is easy to make fun of The Vessel; it stands out sorely, serves no immediate purpose, and is for all intensive purposes a piece of pedestrian commercial art. Once inside however all that falls to the waist side as a unique and new view of the great city of Manhattan unfolds in front of you. The platforms form individual viewpoints, perfect picture frames that put you in heaven’s path above the bustling metropolis below. It is difficult, if not impossible to explain the feeling of being part of a piece of art, and a piece of a city, at the same time. Perhaps “purposeful grace” is about as close as I can come to explaining the calm satisfaction being in The Vessel.

It must be said that those who control the admittance do a fine job not to crowd the experience, giving you a timed ticket that you must procure ahead of time to enter the artpiece. Once inside you are left to your own devices, and while there are a decent amount of photofiends and instagrannys floating around, there seemed to always be enough space to make your digital mark online.

Hudson Yards is a mall. It has shops, restaurants, and corporate artwork. While it may not be the independent, born from strife and passion attraction that New York prides itself on, it is perhaps the best example of what commercial city planning can offer to an otherwise defunct section of a city. If nothing less, it offers some pretty good instagram moments and one hell of a burger.

Rs