REGIONAL Interactive Platform for Philippine Exporters Plus (Ripples +) Program enrollee and award-winning chocolate company Malagos Chocolates recently launched the book The Malagos Book of Chocolate to mark their sixth year in the chocolate-making business during the World Food Expo (Wofex) held at the World Trade Center on August 1 to 4.
The event was headed by Charita Puentespina, founder of Puentespina Farm and Malagos Chocolate, and Rex Puentespina, farmer and chocolate maker of Malagos Chocolate. Department of Trade and Industry’s Trade and Investments Promotion Group Undersecretary Nora K. Terrado, Design Center of the Philippines Executive Director Rhea O. Matute, and DTI-Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) Assistant Director Anthony Rivera also joined the company’s milestone.
As an enrollee of the Ripples + Program, Malagos has benefited from the assistance provided by the DTI-EMB program. Ripples + assists emerging micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the development of their products and services through strategic interventions, such as trainings and capacity-building; investment; marketing and promotions; support for innovation; product development and design; and market access facilitation through mutual recognition arrangements and certifications. These interventions or modes of assistance will ensure that the companies are competent and export-ready. The program has worked toward increasing the number of internationally competitive local product and services exporters with EMB at the helm.
Also by joining different food fairs internationally and locally, Malagos has been recognized globally.
The company was frequently cited by international award-giving bodies year after year for producing some of the best chocolates in the world. Its most recent recognition was from the 2018 Academy of Chocolate Awards, where its Malagos 72-percent Dark Chocolate and its Malagos 85-percent Dark Chocolate were given the Bronze award in the Tree-to-Bar Category. At the same awards’ Drinking Chocolate category, its Malagos 72-percent Dark Chocolate and its Malagos 100-percent Dark Chocolate received the Bronze award, while its Malagos 85-percent Dark Chocolate was given the Silver award.
The brand also received the 2018 Great Taste Award, where four of its products were recognized. The Great Taste Awards gave Malagos 100-percent Unsweetened Chocolate the highest rating in the Hot Chocolate Drink category, making it one of only two products to receive the recognition.
“These awards are a testament to our commitment to raising the quality of Filipino chocolates,” Rex said. “Early on, we knew that the Philippines, especially Davao, has the potential for competing with the best chocolates in the world. We are committed to staying true to this vision,” he added.
From initially making only the traditional tableas or chocolate disks, the company has invested in equipment and expertise to produce fine-food chocolates that meet international standards.
On their sixth year in the chocolate industry, the company launched The Malagos Book of Chocolates written by best-selling author Clinton Palanca and featured photographs by renowned photographer Neal Oshima.
The book highlighted 70 recipes from 46 chefs and bakers, including prominent Filipino chefs Romy Dorotan, Myrna Segismundo, Claude Tayag and Jordy Navarra. The recipes were compiled by Ginny Roces de Guzman.
“This book captures our journey from being a cacao producer to becoming one of the most-awarded Filipino chocolate brands in the world,” Puentespina said.
The Malagos Book of Chocolate is available online at www.malagoschocolate.com and at their stores in Manila and Davao.
During the event, the company also introduced additions to its product lineup of unsweetened baking chocolate, chocolate bars and roasted chocolate nibs. Today, it produces word-class products, such as chocolate-coated dried fruits like guyabano (soursop), pineapple, mango and young coconut. It also now has pralines—chocolate treats filled with whiskey, rum, salted caramel or chocolate ganache.