Cover Photo: Simone van der Koelen \ Unsplash

Treat yourself to some high-quality chocolate and take pride in the local artisans behind these homegrown brands.

World Chocolate Day is right around the corner, on 7 July to be exact. So why not celebrate by loving local and supporting home-grown brands created by proud Filipinos? We have listed out a top-list that is drool-worthy and will have you craving for chocolate. These are some of the best brands and producers of local chocolate in the country some of which utilise local cacao beans and sustainable farming practices too. Each one has its own unique flavours, and beautiful packaging too, which makes giving them as gifts an easy choice. 

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Theo + Philo

“Theo is short for Theobroma Cacao, the scientific name of the cacao tree, which is the source of all chocolate. Philo is derived from the Greek word, philos, which means love. Love for the Philippines and its many flavourful characteristics, and a love of chocolate.” - Theo + Philo 

Founded by Philo Chua, this company has developed a chic aesthetic with stunning packaging that can compete with international brands. They have even ventured into spreads, beverages, and cookies. Place your orders online or pick up some chocolate at Human Nature, ECHO Store, Cartel Deli, Blue Kitchen, Kultura, Rustan’s Department Store, and their other stockists, listed here.

What to try: Dark chocolate with Calamansi, Dark chocolate with green mango and salt, milk chocolate turon, milk chocolate adobo

Visit their website: theoandphilo.com

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Auro

Founded by Gen T Honouree Mark Ocampo and his partner Kelly Go, Auro has quickly risen to the ranks and has become top of mind for local chocolate. Passionate about sustainable practices and fair trade, and about representing the country internationally Auro has strived to put its best foot forward. They have been innovating and changing the chocolate landscape in the country with unique events such as their chocolate bar crawl in Poblacion. You can even find some recipes for dishes that use Auro chocolate on their website, along with 'quarantreats' like gelato, baking kits, and a chocolate tasting box.

What to try: Custom bars made especially for your events, milk chocolate with banana chips, dark chocolate with Arabica coffee, white chocolate with mango pili

Visit their website: aurochocolate.com

Read more: Auro Chocolate On Winning Big At the International Chocolate Awards 2020

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Tigre y Oliva

Tigre y Oliva was founded by the Italian Simone Mastrota, who then partnered with Robbie Crisostomo. Simone named the company after his daughters and opened their chocolate outpost in La Union. Tigre y Oliva utilises the cacao bean’s natural flavour, which is very dependent on where it is grown, to enhance the taste of their products. With elegant, clean branding and beautiful paper packaging, Tigre y Oliva would make a much-welcomed gift! They even have bonbons, ice creams and cookies! 

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Malagos

The multi-awarded, internationally recognised Malagos chocolate is dedicated to highlighting Davao as a chocolate capital. They also strongly advocate for sustainable farming practices. You can find Malagos at Kultura, ECHO Store, All About Baking, Duty Free Philippines, Metro Gaisano, Gourdo’s, and other resellers listed here.

What to try: Malagos dark chocolate, salted caramel chocolate

Visit their website: malagoschocolate.com

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True Chocolate

Treena Tecson’s passion for chocolate drove her to become a chocolatier! She threw herself into her passion and learned all about how to make chocolates. Now, Treena crafts True Chocolate’s creations by hand in small batches, jam-packed with love. True Chocolates are only available for order online via their website; pick up or delivery information will then be provided.

Visit their website: truechocolateph.com

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Risa

Risa's chocolates begun at pop-ups and bazaars around the metro, and has now found a home at Kultura. You may also place your orders through the order form on their Instagram profile.

What to try: Bacon chilli chocolate, brown butter chocolate and Cerveza Negra truffles

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Pia's Kitchen

When her husband Alex brought home beautiful imported chocolates from his speciality grocer Bacchus Epicerie, Pia Lichaytoo put her newfound culinary skills to the test.  After playing around with the chocolate and enrolling in professional classes to hone the technical finesse that delicate confections demand, she officially launched Pia's Kitchen. Her exquisite rocky road, cakes, and beautiful bonbons are available to order via Instagram, but make sure to keep an eye out for updates - she's recently hinted at new desserts and pastries, coming soon.

Read More: Pia Lichaytoo Couldn't Scramble An Egg, Now She's A Brilliant Chocolatier

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1919 Chocolate

In 2019, Kay brought home some beans from her family's 100-year-old cacao farm based in Batangas. Karl, her husband, soon started to experiment and innovate with these beans, and not long after, 1919 Chocolate was born.  Today, the tree-to-bar chocolatier remains family-owned with small-batch productions, proudly carrying the UK's Academy of Chocolate Awards 2020 silver stamp on their 62 per cent Dark Chocolate. You may place your orders through their website, which details their collection of chocolate goods including spreads, tea, nibs, and an array of different bars.

Visit their website: 1919chocolate.ph

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  • WordsAdditional Reporting by Lauren Golangco