This week we are delighted to say Welcome!, Yokoso and Bem Vinda toTomoko-san and Sue of our first Portugese Craft Chocolate Maker, Feitoria doCacao.
The genesis of Fetoria do Cocao is a combination of travel and cooking. Sue Tavares has a long career as a chef, and Tomoko-san and she met whilstTomoko-san was exploring Portugal as part of her singing career. A few yearsafter meeting, they went on an epic adventure, involving changing planes multiple times, to visit Sao Tome and find out more about cacao growing andvisit cacao plantations. The were blown away by what they saw.
Sue and Tomoko-san travelled all over the island, met local farmers and were humbled by the day to day challenges these farmers overcame. They also experienced the wonders of freshly harvest cocoa beans and were fascinatedby the different flavours that local farmers could coax out of the beans throughdifferent fermentation and drying techniques.
Returning to Portugal they determined to build Portugal’s first craft chocolate company. In the years since they first saw cocoa growing in Sao Tome, theyhave spent every spare moment learning as much as they could about crafting fine chocolate bars – corresponding with makers in the UK, Japan, the US, Germany and indeed all over their They have made it their mission to become connoisseurs of craft chocolate, tasting bars from a huge range of makers tohelp develop their palates and hone their craft.
Initially they experimented out of their kitchen, and then a year or so ago they opened a small story, with a craft factory in the basement, in their home town of Evora – described by the Portugese as the “Venice of Portugal” thanks to its canals and seaside geography. Evora is a short train ride from Oporto – and we were lucky enough earlier in the year to visit them, taste some of their new bars and see their operations first hand.
Since then we’ve caught up with them again in London when they visited to collect their well deserved awards from the the Academy of Chocolate, and weare now delighted to be able to offer you some of their bars.
Tomoko-san and Sue hand craft all their bars from small batches of beans. Their bars are, as far as we know, impossible to find out outside of Portugal –and Sue and Tomoka sell almost all of their bars straight from their factory assoon as they are made. It took nearly six months for us to persuade them to sell us an allocation of bars, so we would warmly encourage you to try them while you can.
Visit our Chocolate Library to taste these amazing bars today!
We hope you love these bars too!