On Sunday 15 October, we received the shockingly tragic news that Phillip had died in a fatal accident. We were speechless. We got to know Phillip in 2019 when he was a trainee chocolatier at Georg Bernardini.
In him, Georg Bernardini and Ramona Gustmann found the enthusiastic, ideal successor for their chocolate company Georgia Ramon. Phillip officially took over from them on 1 November 2020 and his start and career could not have been better. His passion for chocolate, his quality, precision, curiosity and diligence characterise the Georgia Ramon bars that travel the world.
Phillip was a open-minded, ambitious and good-humoured chocolatier. We always had good talks and an excellent working relationship with him. Just a few weeks ago, we stood together at the Genussgipfel in Cologne and discussed further steps.
Over the past year, Phillip regularly told us about the progress of the construction of his future, new workplace. A chocolate workshop in his hometown of Soest (in Germany). It would not just be a production facility, no, it would be a chocolate experience centre! His stage. The move from Siegburg to Soest was scheduled for the turn of the year. Phillip was looking forward to it.
Phillip’s dream must not stop now. The family has asked Georg and Ramona to step in temporarily to keep the business running. As difficult as it sounds, to continue the dream, we are looking for a successor who can follow in Phillip’s (and Georg’s) footsteps.
Currently, Georg and Ramona are running full production, we, ClearChox are taking almost all of it off and stockpiling a large bridging stock. As of 31 December this year, the lease in Siegburg is terminated. So by then, the building should be empty. It is expected that, with a quick takeover, production will restart April 2024.
Our thoughts are with his family, partner and friends.
Daan Koemans, Marijke Metz, Sabine Bauschke, Maartje van den Berg and Norbert Mergen