Papua New Guinea
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St Raphael’s chocolate story

From producing nine bars of chocolate per week and selling on the streets of Arawa, has been quite a challenge for Annaclaire and Emmanuel Joris of St Raphael’s Chocolate.

From the remote area of Sirokoro village, Boku, South Bougainville, St Raphael’s Chocolate, a local SME began its journey into chocolate production in 2019.

With only the production of a mere number of bars of chocolate per week, Mrs Joris began walking the streets of Arawa Town marketing her chocolates.

“Many people did not know what chocolate was, although they were farmers of cocoa, so I had to educate them on how chocolate was made from cocoa beans planted,” she said.

“Upon being educated on such products could be made from cocoa, most local farmers became happy that they could process chocolate from raw cocoa beans in Bougainville.”

The story of chocolate production within the Joris family began more than 20 years ago.

“It wasn’t until my husband became interested in producing chocolate that he asked his family in Belgium for assistance with a small machines to process cocoa powder.

“His family contributed and bought the machines and we began trying out various chocolates till we came up with the perfect quality,” said Mrs Joris.

“It was then we started producing only nine bars per week that I sold on the streets and markets in Arawa.

“I selling dark chocolate bars for K5, and milk chocolate bars for K7. Then we ventured into selling cocoa powder.

When we began selling cocoa powder, more farmers became interested in these products. For them it is a shift in drinking tea into drinking hot cocoa tea any time of the day.”

St Raphael’s Trading now sells its chocolate bars only in Arawa Stores.

From the initial production of nine bars per week, they are producing 200 chocolate bars for major supermarkets in Arawa.

“The price of our chocolate has been slowly increasing because of the cost of goods in the store, but we are trying to make it affordable to farmers and customers.

“Our production is also affected by the availability of power, because in South Bougainville, we use solar power.

“There is opportunity for chocolate or cocoa powder and we are receiving good income from our other products such as cocoa butter and cocoa oil.”

St Raphael Chocolate hopes and has set its eyes on exporting their products to international markets.