GOOD NEWS for all chocolate lovers! Benns Chocolate Factory Sdn Bhd, a premier Malaysian chocolate manufacturer of 20 years, has officially launched Asia’s first open-concept chocolate factory and café to bring the experience of chocolate making closer to the consumer.
Benns Chocolate’s latest factory is to cater for its artisanal bean-to-bar brand, Benns Ethicoa with the aim to promote ethical and natural chocolate making. This also marks a new chapter in the company’s illustrious chocolate making history. The new Benns Ethicoa Chocolate factory is now an independent facility with dedicated capacity to produce up to 500kg of fine flavor single estate bean-to-bar chocolate per day. Also present at the launch is YBhg Datuk Norhaini Udin, Director General of Malaysia Cocoa Board.
Wilfred Ng, Executive Director of Benns Chocolate said Benns Ethicoa’s business model is built with sustainability in mind, designed to help promote ethical cacao farming and enable owners of well-managed plantations to fetch higher prices that commensurate with better quality cacao beans.
Bean-to-Bar chocolate, or more popularly known as craft chocolate, is currently one of the leading food trends worldwide which is witnessing a renewed popularity of organic and healthier alternatives food including chocolate. Similar to specialty coffee, these artisanal chocolates can be crafted from unique tasting and high-quality cocoa beans grown in tropical weather in Latin American, Africa and Asia. Widely regarded as the highest standard in chocolate industry, single origin bean-to-bar chocolate involves chocolate making process using cacao beans sourced from a designated estate. It also requires several crucial steps and careful treatment in its production process, beginning from cacao cultivation and farm management techniques right up to production to get the best flavor from the finished product.
It is a little-known fact to many people that most of the top-quality cacao can be found in Asia. More than just for branding, by growing the artisanal chocolate market and expanding more into downstream segments with different cacao products, Benns aspires to revitalize the cacao farming community in Asia.
By reducing reliance on intermediaries and sourcing directly from farms, this allows Benns to build good partnership with farmers and a greater understanding of the raw ingredients, giving them more influence and the ability to improve the quality of its chocolate.
At Benns Ethicoa, each chocolate product is made using cacao beans from single farm estates. The fruity, nutty and floral flavor notes of the chocolate are unique to their origin and each share their own story. This is known as Terroir or “Flavor of the land”, a concept ubiquitous in the wine world.
Currently, Benns Ethicoa’s cacao beans are sourced from carefully selected farms in Lampang in Thailand, Vung Tau in Vietnam, Calinan in the Philippines, Anaimalai in India, and Sungai Ruan in Pahang, Malaysia.
As a reflection of the brand’s values of transparency and fairness, the new facility fully showcases the entire chocolate making process.
Visitors can sign up for a factory tour to learn about the origins of chocolate, the farmers and the farms where the cacao beans originate and a unique experience of the entire chocolate making process from bean to bar.
For a bittersweet ending (literally), each tour concludes with a tasting of chocolate drinks and a selection of pastries, each made using cacao sourced from different farm estates around Asia.
The tour experience is completed at the Ethicoa café that serves pastries and cakes made by its in-house pastry chefs using single estate chocolate produced in the factory.
Besides bean-to-bar chocolates, other fine flavor chocolate products under Benns Ethicoa label include cacao nibs, made from dried and roasted cocoa beans, a two-ingredient drinking chocolate (cacao powder and unrefined sugar) and cacao tea. Cacao drinks is Benns Ethicoa’s way of going back to basics, allowing the natural taste and health benefits of cacao to be brought to the forefront. Chocolate can mean so much more than just a sweet treat meant for our pleasure indulgence!
To celebrate Benns Ethicoa’s latest facility as the new unique sensory experience destination for the public, it is offering a promotional free factory tour worth RM 30 each for every hour starting from 11 am to 5 pm, beginning from 13-19 December.
Each hourly slot is limited to only 8 attendees and include a free chocolate drink at Benns’ very own café at the end of the tour. This promotion is on first come first serve basis. To avoid disappointment, early reservations at firstname.lastname@example.org or +603-9082 0955 is highly advisable.
If you want to get these chocolates but the factory is too far for you, you can also buy Benns Chocolate online at https://bennsethicoa.com/.
Benns Ethioca Chocolate Factory
Lot No.1, Jalan CJ 1/6C,
Kawasan Perindustrian Cheras Jaya, Batu 11
Tel: +603-9082 0955
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 6pm