The chocolate industry is such a huge business that chocolate has become a staple in many people’s lives. Given the wide range of chocolates available, it’s not surprising that the industry is a major player on the international stage. Fortunately, our Filipino chocolatiers are up to the task, and they’ve played a key role in introducing the world to Philippine chocolate. Many Filipino chocolatiers have won awards and recognitions locally and abroad for their signature chocolates. For many of them, chocolate is more than a business; it is their pride and joy.
In this article, we’ll get to know 3 chocolatiers who found sweet success in the chocolate business.
1. Dalareich Polot – The Chocolate Princess of Bohol
Dubbed Bohol’s Chocolate Princess, Dalareich Polot’s chocolate business started with her grandmother’s tablea. The tablea recipe was passed on to her mother until she too learned it and turned the tablea into award-winning chocolates. Dalareich established the Dalareich Chocolate House in Tagbilaran City, Bohol, which is now a popular tourist destination.
Dalareich’s drinking chocolate won the top gold award at the Academy of Chocolate Awards in London back in 2019. Now, they export their chocolates to Sweden, Australia, Japan, and other parts of the world.
2. Raquel Choa – The Chocolate Queen of Cebu
In Cebu, Raquel Choa is known as the “Chocolate Queen.” In an article on GMA, Raquel recalled how her love for chocolates began when she was just 7 years old. Her grandmother would prepare her a warm sikwate, or pure hot chocolate, before going to school. Since then, her passion has grown until she opened her chocolate business, Ralfe Gourmet.
Raquel is now the president, CEO, and founder of The Chocolate Chamber (TCC). She visited Singapore on January 27th, 2023 to host a “Chocolate Break” for the officers of the Philippine Embassy’s Economic and Cultural Sections to introduce them to the unique flavors of Philippine chocolate.
3. Rex Puentespina of Malagos Chocolate
Davao City-based farmer and chocolatier Rex Puentespina has been instrumental in bringing Philippine chocolate to international attention. The Puentespinas have been known for their wide range of agribusinesses in Davao City. Their family owned a nature park, an artisanal cheese factory, and other businesses until they ventured into cacao farming in 2013.
Malagos Chocolate, produced by the Puentespina family, has become one of the country’s most prestigious chocolate brands. According to their website, they have already won a total of 56 international awards to date. Among those awards are the 2017 Cocoa Excellence Programme’s Best 50 Beans in the World, the 2019 Heirloom Cacao Designation #16 in the World, and many others.
Those who want to stand out in this industry must create signature chocolate that is a product of their art and passion. Good luck!
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