Life is like a box of chocolates!
Who doesn’t love chocolate?! A day dedicated to this “divine food” is most certainly a universal celebration. This World Chocolate Day, Café catches up with the chocolatier community in Goa to learn about their delicious businesses and the demand in the state
Chocolate has a special place in everyone’s hearts and a small piece of chocolate can not only sweeten your tongue but even brighten your day. World Chocolate Day is celebrated today, July 7, all over the globe, making it the perfect excuse to indulge in a bar of chocolaty goodness.
Goa loves its food, especially its sweets, and handmade, artisanal chocolates seem to be moulding a market for themselves. Felix Vieira and his wife, Rosy, from Siolim, started off with their brand, Vieira Chocolates, nearly 12 years ago, when there were Indian and international brands in the market. Over the years, he has seen an increase in demand as well as competition. “Year by year, there is a lot of competition, which is very healthy. Many are completing short term courses and entering the market as local chocolatiers, which brings a variety in presentation and pricing,” says Felix. With their all-time favourite flavours being rum and raisin, orange marmalade and fruit and nut, each flavour is colour coded for the assortment. “We are full fledged in outlets during the festive season. During monsoons, storage of chocolates becomes a problem and there is very limited movement compared to the season,” adds Felix, who’s brand is open for business throughout the year. Tiffaney and her elder sister, Tatiana, from Aquem-Margao, created the brand Ribboned and Ready, which includes custom-made cakes and chocolates. Though the demand for cakes is higher compared to chocolates, chocolates are a must for kids’ parties, they say. “We have a list of flavours for customers to select from and we even are open to suggestions on new flavours. Compared to earlier, it is now easier to to get your hands on chocolate as a raw material. We receive clients from all over Goa as we have a Facebook page and also through client recommendation,” adds Tiffaney Barros. When Chocolate Man’s Production by Savio Monteiro opened in 2009, it was a one-of-a-kind outlet that showcased a variety of chocolates. Trained at IHM, Goa and after working in Australia and UK, Savio returned home to bring a change in the chocolate industry. “There is a growth in the chocolate industry in Goa as now people are becoming more aware of the benefits in comparison to traditional sweets, with product awareness and knowledge,” says Savio, from Parra. Another interesting feature that was brought to the buffet table at weddings and parties was the chocolate fountain. “With the help of the chocolate fountain, which we supply for weddings, catering functions and birthday parties as a rental arm of our business has gained great popularity and tempted Goans to love chocolate. There is always room for experimenting with the chocolate, which is very adaptable and can be used in different ways, keeping in mind the product knowledge being available to the consumer,” says Savio. Donabelle D’Souza from Chicalim knows the 16 flavours of her chocolates by heart. In the industry for over five years now, she caters to a select clientele as she single-handedly makes chocolates and packages them for delivery with very little time for last minute orders. “I have a chocolate exhibition at my home before Diwali, where everything is made of chocolate; from flowers, birds and candles to car racing circuits and Merry-go-round gardens. I make assorted chocolates like milk chocolate, white chocolate, dark chocolate, hazelnut, crackles, butterscotch, truffles, sea salt chocolate and even marzipan,” explains Donabelle. She receives pre orders only during the festive season as she caters to corporates who purchase hampers from her. “I only use chocolate from Singapore and design my own boxes, which come in from Mumbai. I even cater to weddings with chocolate take-aways. From one corporate itself, I get an order of 40 kgs of chocolate. The demand for chocolates is increasing and once the clients know what they like, the word spreads,” says Donabelle. This World Chocolate Day, celebrate the day by sharing a bar of your favourite chocolate with your loved ones.
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