The opportunity to supply some 6,000 kilos of cacao beans for Boholanos becomes even more pressing as a young chocolatier opens here the first chocolate factory, the Chocolate House.
Dalareich Polot, 29, graduate of Business Management and Entrepreneurship, who has since become a chocolatier and one of only two Boholanos who studied to prepare roasted cacao beans into delectable chocolates, opened a bigger facility from their old house to produce more chocolates and so visitors can see the whole chocolate production process.
Polot opened Bohol’s first real full-scale P4 million chocolate factory and showroom in Booy District on September 8, 2017.
Churning out 6 tons of fermented cacao beans a month before they temporarily downscaled production following the renovation of the old factory, the new state-of-the-art facility could even possibly increase the demand, said co-owner and Dalareich’s mother, Elsa Polot, 53.
When Bohol could hardly supply a hundred kilos of cacao beans, the Polots had to source out their cacao beans from Mindanao, Elsa added.
“We are supposed to buy from local sources,” Elsa explained, “but the local supply is not as steady and reliable so we have to import.”
“We also buy from local suppliers, but the most they can give is about a sack; that’s 60 kilos a month,” added Dalareich’s father, Ricardo, 55.
That is barely one percent of the local production requirement before the new factory opened.
At the Chocolate House’s blessing were cacao growers in Bohol, who have lately gone into setting up plantations after seeing the viability of supplying the new factory’s needs in the next months.
Also present were representatives and owners of hotels and resorts supplied by Ginto chocolates.
Elsa used to work as a city street sweeper while Ricardo, a tricycle driver. Dalareich and her four other siblings grew in a family that has kept a tradition of tableya making which her mother learned from their grandparents.
When life was hard, the Polot couple decided to focus on tableya, while asking their daughter Dalareich to push for their tableya product via online promotions.
As the family slowly built on the tableya business, the daughter had other things in mind: acquiring scientific training for the high-end chocolates.
After an intensive training on the fine craft of chocolates in Belgium, Polot went home, eager to break away from her parent’s tableya to go big on her new line: Ginto Luxury Chocolates.
On September 8, 2016, she left for the United States for the International Visitor Leadership Program, which exposed her to international markets and linkages for her Philippine brand of chocolates, carefully brewing the taste of the heirloom white beans of the MesoAmerican Criollio and the Forastero and Trinitario hybrids.
“On Sept 8, 2017, we opened our new chocolate house factory. This is the ultimate dream of my parents for our business,” Dalareich told her guests.
“We called this a chocolate house because this is our home, where it all started, the house of my Lola ‘Nanay’ who started our tablea and handed [the chocolate tradition] to my mama,” she explained.
About her plans, other than going big on production and helping local growers, she also intends to make her chocolate house a learning area.
“By end of this month or early next month, we’ll do events like educational chocolate factory tour, chocolate making for the kids, chocolate appreciation, and tasting day and chocolate buffet,” she said.
But before she could do that, Dalareich hopes she will be able to buy cacao from local sources in a bid to also spread the cocoa aroma benefits to the Boholano growers. (rahc/PIA7-Bohol)