Shortly after turning two, homegrown brand Auro Chocolates received 10 international awards from the recently concluded Academy of Chocolate, one of the most significant fine chocolates international institutions in the United Kingdom.
In a span of 12 weeks, thousands of entries from various countries were assessed by the panel of judges based on the appearance, depth of aroma, flavor, length and complexity of their chocolates.
“This is the culmination of our efforts over the years to work directly with local farmers and specialists whose passion and cooperation was crucial in improving the quality of our cacao, and to continuously innovate on the art and science of producing the best chocolate possible,” Kelly Go, managing director and co-founder of Auro Chocolate, told Daily Tribune.
The brand admits that chocolate making isn’t at all easy. It is a process that they really appreciate doing and winning 10 AoC awards is just icing on the cake. “We focus on highlighting the unique local flavors and stories in the products that we create. We are also able to have a larger impact on the communities we work with as we source all of our cacao directly from farmers and have developed holistic programs to help them turn their livelihood into a thriving business.
“Since our launch in 2017, we have seen tremendous growth both locally and internationally, and have even opened our first international retail store in Tokyo, Japan. We share this milestone with the entire industry, most especially the farming communities we work with. It gives us further encouragement that we can stand with the best on the global stage, and that we need to keep persevering so that we can make an even greater contribution to the sustainable development of the fine cacao and chocolate industry,” Go added.
The brand’s journey began seven years ago when one of the founders, Jacqueline Go, discovered a well-known artisanal chocolate company in the United States that uses cocoa beans from Davao.
They soon realized that the Philippines has had cacao for 300 years. Seeing that there was no demand for the beans and no support is given to the farmers, the family ended up doing chocolate as their business.
“We want to give back to them because we wanted to stop the abuse of agricultural relationships; we wanted to be able to support the community and actually empower the farmers so that they can experience an improvement in terms of their livelihood,” Mark Ocampo, managing director and co-founder of Auro Chocolates, told Daily Tribune in a previous interview.
Auro Chocolates uses the bean Criolloa Porcelana, one of the rarest heirloom cacao varieties deemed as the purest and much-coveted. It only takes up 0.1 percent of the world’s total cacao population.
Auro Chocolates plans to make its products available in many more places. For now, it is available at Kultura, New World Hotels, Solaire and Conrad Manila. To know more about the brand, log on to www.aurochocolate.com.
See full list of awards:
A. Tree to bar Category
70% Dark Chocolate Saloy (Silver)
70% Dark Chocolate Tupi (Silver)
70% Dark Chocolate Paquibato (Bronze)
B. Bean to Bar Seasoned Category
64% Dark Chocolate with Nibs (Bronze)
C. Milk Bean to Bar Flavoured Category
42% Milk Chocolate with Nibs (Bronze)
D. White Bean to Bar Flavoured Category
32% Mango White Chocolate with Pili Nut (Bronze)
32% Moringa White Chocolate with Pinipig (Bronze)
E. Caramel, Fruit, Milk Chocolate Spread
Roasted White Chocolate with Cashew Spread (Bronze)
F. Bar Wrappers Category Bronze
G. Plain, for milk-based drinks Category
Unsweetened Chocolate (Gold)