October 22, 2018

Filipino Chocolate Auro Opens Their First Official Store in Tokyo

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  • If there’s one thing the Philippines is known for worldwide, it’s the love for food. No wonder the country also boasts quality food products internationally, particularly chocolates–and Auro Chocolate is starting to take the world by storm starting from receiving recognition from the International Chocolate awards in the UK this year to opening their first official store in Tokyo just this October.

    Auro Chocolate in Tokyo interior / IMAGE Auro Chocolate

    Japanese partners found Auro Chocolate through social media, and fortunately, these partners really loved all their local chocolate.

    “They chose our brand because they liked the quality and our story really resonated with them,” Mark Ocampo, one of the co-founders of Auro Chocolate, said. “There is a big and still growing market for chocolate in Japan. They thought it would be the right time to bring in a chocolate brand with a compelling story that the Japanese would be happy to enjoy and support.”

    IMAGE Auro Chocolate

    Auro Chocolate’s Japanese branch will greet you with its cool, industrial interior with a shelf of retail chocolate bars.

    Consumers can also expect Auro’s very own chocolate ingredients in the near future, as well as some products specifically made for the Japanese taste. Auro Chocolate’s Japan store officially opened last October 7, but they are doing a special launch in Tokyo on November 5.

    IMAGE Auro Chocolate

    Proudly Filipino-made, Auro Chocolate’s cocoa beans come directly from local farmers in Davao, while also offering sustainable partnerships by teaching farmers about organic farming and business management.

    Back in 2010, long before bean-to-bar chocolate was available in the Philippines, co-founders Mark Ocampo and Kelly Go found a chocolate bar at a cafe in Chicago. Surprisingly, the cafe was using cacao beans that were made from the Philippines.

    From there, they researched about the rich history and traditions surrounding cacao in the country and even found out the story of Filipino cacao farmers who weren’t earning enough for a living–which marked the start of Auro Chocolate’s humble beginnings.

    Auro Chocolate products / IMAGE Auro Chocolate

    The founders decided to start a system wherein Auro Chocolate pays farmers higher than everyone else, with the perks of educating them to treat their farms as their own businesses. The training includes basic business administration classes, proper pre and post-harvest practices, organic farming, and improvement on cacao and chocolate products.

    Auro Chocolate logo / IMAGE Auro Chocolate

    Auro Chocolate started in 2015, although the products were officially launched in May 2017. At present, Auro Chocolate is working with about 3,000 farming partners.

    “We’re happy to say that from 2015 to today, our farming partners are making so much more. They are able to pay for their loans, buy laptops for their children’s education, and even re-invest in their own farms to improve quality and productivity,” Ocampo said.

    Auro 64% Dark Chocolate / IMAGE courtesy of Auro Chocolate

    Currently, Auro Chocolate has local branches in Makati, Calamba, and Davao. The Japanese branch is located in #2D Frenity House 1-17-7 Uehara, Shibuya-Ku Tokyo, Japan 151-0064.

    For more information, visit their website at Auro Chocolate or call them at 0917-506-3406. You may also send them an e-mail at info@aurochocolate.com, give them a thumbs-up in their Auro Chocolate Facebook Page, and follow them on Instagram @aurochocolate.

    Written by Yana Bautista
    Images courtesy of Auro Chocolate

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