202302 Co Chocolat Factory Opens.
Co Chocolat Opens the First Farm-to-Table Chocolate Factory in the Middle East
Four years after their online launch and with thousands of homes in the Middle East now enjoying healthy chocolates and drinks, homegrown-UAE, women-led, family-run brand Co Chocolat now opens its doors to the first farm-to-table chocolate factory in the Middle East.
Dubai, February 13, 2023 – It will be another proud first for the UAE as homegrown brand Co Chocolat, creators of farm-to-table, handcrafted, artisanal single-origin chocolates, officially opens its doors to the first farm-to-table chocolate factory in the Middle East on February 21, 2023.
Differentiating itself from typical chocolate companies, the factory which will be open to interactive tours will educate about chocolates right from its very source – cacao. Guests to the factory will not only see machines, take part in the chocolate-making process, and taste Co Chocolat’s many products, they will also get a chance to taste fresh cacao fruit. This is before the cocoa pod is even dried and roasted to become the main ingredient of chocolates. Their tours will also highlight how Co Chocolat’s mother company is a social enterprise that empowers farmers in the founders' native country, the Philippines.
Iman Suguitan, co-founder and head of marketing, says, “There is no better time than now to prepare our millennials who will be our future consumers about the importance of ethical sourcing. We cannot be luxuriating while halfway around the world somebody is suffering because of our luxury. At Co Chocolat, making truly ‘guilt-free’ food choices is imperative.”
Sister co-founders Iman and Luchie Suguitan started cacao farming in 2015 together with their diabetic mother who has survived several brain strokes and a heart attack. “The World Health Organization reports that about 422 million people worldwide now have diabetes. We thought of revolutionizing how chocolates are perceived and made by creating chocolates and desserts that are actually mouth-watering. Even if a person is diabetic, vegan, gluten-intolerant, or requires a specific diet, he should be able to safely enjoy delicious treats. In our research, we found that it all boils down to the choosing and handling of ingredients, and specifically for chocolates, it all starts with our beloved cacao. Although we have lived in the UAE for almost two decades, we spent time in the south of the Philippines where we learned to grow and rehabilitate cacao trees, and even mastered the fermentation and post-harvest process. These cacao trees we farmed then, and trees of other farmers who are part of our social enterprise, now give the cacao which we use in the chocolates we sell here in the UAE,” according to Luchie, who is COO and head of products.
The farm-to-table chocolate factory will also be the venue for the first chocolate and cacao school in the UAE. Chocolate Masterclasses where both newbie choco-enthusiasts and professional chocolatiers can learn and improve their craft beginning this May. Co Chocolat held with their community herbalist last week the very first “Xocolatl Workshop” which was all about creating natural, zero-chemical skincare products using cacao specifically high-grade cocoa butter.
Co Chocolat Farm-to-Table Factory Details:
- Details of interactive tours can be found online at: https://cochocolat.com/pages/farm-to-bar-tour
- Location: Warsan 3, Dubai, just 5 minutes walking distance from the Warsan Plant Nursery and 8 minutes away from Dragon Mart.
- Co Chocolat will produce from this factory over 200 SKU of products. They have 14 different choco bar flavors, over 20 bonbons, and truffle flavors, 8 different hot chocolate variants, 4 types of gianduja (pronounced jan-doo-ya) or the original choco-nut spreads, cakes, monster cookies, chocolatebombas, and other chocolate delights.
- They source their cacao from Agusan del Sur, Philippines where co-founders also have their own cacao farm.
Link here for Images
Link here for Videos
About Co Chocolat
Co-founders Luchie and Iman are certified “Cacao Doctors” after they were able to directly grow cacao trees in their farm after one year of graduation in 2015. They co-founded the social enterprise www.OFWparasaMagsasaka.com in 2016 and continue to empower farmers through healthy chocolates.
Chef Luchie as she is now called by her team of chocolatiers, not only dictates roasting profiles at the cacao farm level, but she also creates all the recipes that Co Chocolat creates here in the UAE. She accomplished her chocolate education in the USA for bean-to-bar chocolate-making and furthered it by attending the school of Valrhona, France in Tain L’Armitage making her the UAE’s first and only maître chocolatier from farm-to-bar. People will see her in action in the factory and on school tours and will have dedicated time to talk to the youth about being both a social entrepreneur and a professional chef.
Co Chocolat is a brand of Seeds Castle Food Manufacturing LLC. Seeds Castle is owned by Luchie Suguitan, Iman Suguitan both Filipino nationals and Fahad bin Jumaa of KSA.
For more info and images/videos:
Whatsapp and Mobile: Iman Suguitan – +971526931041 or Paula - +971582986871