EACH one of us has a unique gift from above worth sharing with the rest of the world, and for The Chocolate Chamber (TCC), it’s their cacao concoctions that bring delight to every soul that tastes it.
A product of prayer, persistence, and passion, TCC’s chocolate creations made it as far as Guam and Chiang Mai, where the owner and Cebu’s Chocolate Queen Raquel Choa shared the art of tablea making and the tablea drinking tradition according to her own personal experience.
“As a child living in the mountains, my grandmother and other relatives taught us to plant, not only cacao but other crops as well. My vivid memories was that on cacao – harvesting them, eating the beans, drying them, roasting, shelling, pounding the cacao nibs using mortar and pestle to make tablea or unsweetened chocolate which was my inspiration for TCC,” said Choa.
In the recent TEDx event in Chiang Mai, Thailand, Raquel re-visited Chiang Mai as she showcased her chocolate creations vis-a-vis answering the challenge of the theme “Our Common Future” through sustainable cacao farming.
“Raquel is a modern interpretation of the story of the Maria Cacao. Wherever Raquel travels with her chocolate suitcase, she brings happiness to people with her charm and passion for chocolate. She shared with us often unknown forms (outside of the Philippines) of chocolate such as Sikwate and Cacao de Bola and brings pleasure, health, and new friendships through her creations,” said TEDx Chiang Mai organizer Martin Venzky-Stalling.
A few days after, she wowed esteemed guests at the Philippine Embassy in Bangkok for an afternoon delight with Philippine artisanal chocolates.
Sustaining the Culture
Believing that business and advocacy are inseparable, Choa sets international standards in terms of packaging TCC’s brands like Ralfe Gourmet and Batirol to appeal to chocolate lovers around the world. At the same time, it promotes the rich Filipino culture through her story and presentation of how the tablea is made, highlighting one of her innovations – the Cacao de Bola.
Sustaining the Business
Choa affirms the fact that she needs people with a similar gift and grit to make the TCC vision a reality. She does this by exposing her daughter Hannah Choa who shares the same passion for promoting cacao, and empowering her workers, evaluating connections, and ultimately collaborating with organizations that help spread the word about Philippine chocolate.