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Founder Q&A: Kelly Go of Auro Chocolate

Auro Chocolate founders Kelly Go Mark Ocampo

The Tzocolaté team caught up with Kelly Go, co-founder of award-winning Filipino fine flavor chocolatemaker, Auro Chocolate, to share her thoughts about her chocolate journey with us.

How did it all start? Why and how did you get into chocolate?

Mark, my best friend, and I both grew up in the Philippines and actually only lived a few streets away from each other but did not get a chance to meet until we were both in university in Chicago. We instantly bonded over our love for food and culture and had always dreamed of moving back to the Philippines to do our part in making a difference.

Around 2010 in Chicago, we saw an American craft brand that was promoting Philippine-origin chocolate and were immediately intrigued. At that time, there were no craft chocolate brands in the Philippines yet, and the potential to create fine cacao and chocolate was still untapped.

My mom, who is a kitchen design consultant and pastry chef, started researching about cacao in the Philippines and conducting grassroots initiatives with farmers in Davao.

Auro Chocolate farmer partner in Davao

Seeing a unique opportunity to pursue our passions, Mark and I decided to move back to the Philippines in 2015 to build on the initial groundwork of my mom and create a social enterprise that would focus on transforming the entire tree-to-bar process. It has been the greatest adventure of our lives and we are excited to keep pushing the boundaries even more as we continue to grow Auro.

What is your chocolate-making philosophy?

We always strive to provide the best cacao and chocolate products by embracing the ethos of thinking globally and acting locally. By fusing international trends and standards with local traditions and capabilities, we are able to create unique products that can be appreciated not only here but all over the world.

We also challenge ourselves and the communities we work with to reach higher to improve not only the quality and consistency of our products, but also our social and environmental impact.

 

Why do you think people should try Auro's chocolate? What sets it apart?

Our products are beautifully packaged and sustainably crafted using only the best cacao beans, ingredients and materials. We marry international standards with our proudly Filipino heritage to create unique products that are globally relevant. And with every Auro product you purchase, you are directly supporting Filipino cacao farmers.

Why do you think people should try Filipino chocolates?

As a cacao growing country, chocolate enthusiasts should definitely try our local and proudly Filipino bean-to-bar chocolate to experience the unique flavours of Philippine cacao and how we integrated our culture and traditions into our chocolate and cacao products. 

What is your favorite part in making great chocolates?

Sharing our love and passion for tree-to-bar chocolate. There is a growing community of cacao producers, chocolate makers and most importantly discerning consumers who care deeply about creating a more sustainable future for chocolate. There is so much to learn and to share, from interesting new origins/varieties of cacao to the everyday stories of hardworking farmers.

Thank you Kelly for taking the time to answer our questions.

You can now order Auro chocolates in Sweden via our online store, or share them as a nice gift set.  

You may want to read:

Auro's partner farmers

Auro's direct impact on farmers

How Auro found gold in Philippine cacao

 

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