Q&A with Lara Messer

Lara Messer, Founder of Bare Bones Chocolate is a food photographer and chef, previously working in London alongside some incredible chefs, photographers and makers. Obsessed with food, good design and coffee culture, Lara works on every step from roasting to social media. She now lives in Glasgow and runs Bare Bones with her partner Cameron. 
Name? 
Lara Messer
Where do you live?
Glasgow, Scotland. 
Where do you work?
I’m a full-time chocolate maker, working from our tiny workshop (roughly 2.5m x 2.5m!) in the Southside of Glasgow. 
How did you get into making chocolate?
I've always been obsessed with food and have been working in food & food marketing for the last 5 years. Along the way, I photographed some incredible producers and loved how dedicated they were to their craft. I remember reading Edible Selby and longing to find my “thing” that I’d love to make and dreamed of having my own food business one day…
Roasting cacao is really similar to roasting coffee. My dad is a coffee roaster, so I’ve been involved in the sourcing and roasting process for some time. We loved eating and obsessively learning about bean to bar chocolate and one day we thought, lets do this! We wanted to make exceptional chocolate as it should be: without any additives or emulsifiers. Just the Bare Bones.
What item of food best describes your personality?
What a tricky question! I frequently try and think what my desert island dish would be (a la Margie Nomura’s podcast), and I feel like this question is just as difficult to answer. Maybe I’d be some sort of pasta, as I’d like to think I am a reliable person… and you’ll always have a random bag of pasta in your cupboard!
Favourite thing to do on your day off (apart from sleep!)?
My boyfriend and I are huge coffee fans, so we love nothing more than relaxing in a coffee shop with a pastry (or a few random squares of our chocolate in our pockets!). We always end up chatting about the business, but gain infinite inspiration from doing it out-with the workshop!
What Polka’s do you have?
My collection has grown over the years and they have been there throughout my career. I am a photographer by trade and found they were so flexible for shoots. Now, as a chocolate maker, they are just as useful and prevent me from feeling like a chocolate-hobbit! I started with the traditional black and added the Gizzi Erskine leopard print, the saucy red and, most recently, a navy set! 
Top recommendation for food in your city?
Glasgow is brimming with some of the best restaurants and cafes in the UK, so it’s hard to choose a handful of my favourites. For coffee, I’d say my favourites are KAF, East, Papercup and Short Long Black. For food, I love a good breakfast and nothing beats Delizique. And Alchemilla is exceptional for dinner and wine! 
Biggest inspiration?
My parents are extremely hardworking and I’m constantly inspired by how much they push to make things happen. Cookbooks give me so much inspiration too. And possibly my biggest interior/kitchen/food inspiration is Frankie Unsworth – the insanely talented food and prop stylist, come genius. 
Instagram/ twitter account:
@bareboneschocolate on instagram. And my personal account is @messyla

Lara wears custom navy trousers

 

 

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