Nine out of ten people like chocolate. The tenth person always lies.
I've got a story to tell. Our recent move to Eastern Visayas was a concession. I did not approve of it, at first, because my home had always been Luzon. I grew up in Muntinlupa City and I moved to Cavite and eventually Laguna during my married years. I knew that it was going to be a huge adjustment for the entire family to move to a totally different place. Although Leyte was my hubby's home province, the kids and I treat it as a vacation spot - never as a permanent home.
So what gives?
It's all because of the humble cacao. We agreed to go and fully support my husband in his endeavor to keep the cacao business in Leyte. Although we already have a humble lot in Batangas, we are giving our family two years to watch how everything pans out. Plus my work is online and our kids are homeschooled so we all agreed to uproot the family - for now.
My husband's family's business is small-scale chocolate tablet production. Their family has been making tablea de cacao (cocoa tablets) since the 1800s but the product was only commercially offered in 1960.
We started with a simple plastic packaging.
Quality chocolate can only come from Grade A cacao beans. And Mama Lita's Tablea de Cacao is all about quality.
And so, here we are. We moved in late October of last year. Sans the adjustments, there are many things that we are grateful for as a family. First, the local market for tablea is ever-growing.
Our weekly shipments prove this.
We have already exported to the U.S., there's a coffee shop in San Francisco that now serves a coffee-chocolate brew which fuses their Liberica coffee beans with our tablea de cacao. Bluntly put, di na kami magkandaugaga sa mga orders (we could hardly catch up with the orders).
The look of our tablea de cacao rolls has greatly changed and their quality increased even more. 'Proud to say that we have the smoothest and finest cacao tablets compared to our competitors.
This was our products' holiday look.
And just when we thought that God already poured ample blessings, then came the opportunity to reopen our cake and bread business. The hubby just made a 9" mango float last New Year and, as the saying goes, the rest is history.
First, a friend ordered. Then a friend of that friend, and so on, and so forth. Now our ice creamy mango float is being offered daily in a posh resto in Hilongos, Leyte. So, daily also, the hubby and I would go to our suki (our preferred seller) at the palengke to buy the mangoes. Here's a funny thing - I have a nose for what's already a sweet mango (the hubby is clueless!).
What I love about our family biz is that we get to support fellow local businessmen. For our mango float, we use only the choicest, sweetest mangoes.
The story of the cacao and the cake biz is quite simple. We have been blessed to to re-establish our baking business when we only prayed for the cacao to thrive. Developments are on their way. We have already sold some banana loaves and chocolate cake so we're looking forward to pamper the Visayans with more lavish cakes.
E.S. Villamor has made a career in writing for a decade now. Her online business - GIML (Gabriela Isabel & Miguel Lucas) Publishing started in 2014. She advocated for women's rights and was once enamored with imparting financial literacy through training and blogs but she is now focused on propagating all things Filipino. This site is also being groomed as a rich homeschooling resource.