Dennis van Essen
Founder & owner
Dennis is the founder of the High Five Company. During a tour in the United States, he tasted his first piece of Taza Stone Ground Chocolate and was sold immediately. That experience was the start of the High Five adventure. Dennis has a lot of experience in working with retail. In his scarce free time he likes to cross trough the United States together with travel buddy and partner Bertine.
Luke Owen Smith
Marketing & Content Manager
Luke is a writer, photographer and chocolate lover, based in Wellington, New Zealand. Luke made the switch from craft beer to craft chocolate after falling in love with Wellington Chocolate Factory’s Peru 70% bar, back in 2013. A couple of years after this he founded his own craft chocolate retail business, which he sold in March 2022. Luke is a regular judge at the New Zealand Chocolate Awards and he writes about chocolate for a variety of media outlets. When he’s not indulging in chocolate and a decent cup of tea, you’ll find him walking in the hills around Wellington or curled up with a good novel.
Sandra makes sure orders are securely picked, shipped and invoiced.
Back office & Support
As a flight attendant with KLM airlines, Bertine sees the entire world. Because of that, she spots the latest chocolate trends in other countries. The long flights are also an excellent opportunity to get KLM’s colleagues hooked on specialty chocolate. Bertine takes care of the backoffice for The High Five Company.
Elaine van Essen
The High Five Company not only feels like a family business, it is one as well! Elaine is the daughter of Dennis and she likes to make sure everything runs smoothly in the company. That is why she helps in the administration and you will find her occasionally at chocolate fairs where she shares her knowledge about good chocolate. Especially about Taza – her favourite.