CocoáFair – The Real Organic Chocolate
CocoáFair, the organic chocolate factory that aims to make the world a better place – one delicious truffle at time.
We were lucky enough to be guided around the basement of the CocoáFair chocolate factory by passionate, former pastry-chef and business partner, Nino Allegro. He introduced us proudly to his small, hand-trained team, letting us know each of their humble beginnings, the skills they had acquired and the plans he has to grow them going into the future.
Nino points out the first chocolate tempering machine that he built himself, by hand. He quickly states that no one gets to go straight to the computerized machines. “They all learn to make chocolate by hand first,” says Nino. According to Nino, there is no formal training to become a chocolatier in South Africa.
The off-cuts and bars that are slightly off the correct weight are recycled and melted together. I immediately assume that this is because their chocolate is just too scrumptious to throw away but CocoáFair have another good reason why they don’t simply toss the left over chips and splinters away – as a company they believe in no wastage and the chocolate will be recycled to possibly be sold at reduced prices in the townships – creating township vendors and feeding kids with chocolate that has less sugar content than its commercial counterpart.
Nino’s partner, Thor Thorøe from Denmark, is the visionary behind the social entrepreneurship that is at the heart of each coca bean that gets roasted in CocoáFair’s shiny, white basement. His vision is complex but essentially he wants to share knowledge, skills, create job independence, build a network of local suppliers and make end-products in Africa like the CocoáFair brand that are ready for global consumption. Peel back the hand-wrapped, gold foil that encases the rich, crafted chocolate and you’ll know they are producing an African chocolate of a standard similar to the experienced European chocolate makers.
They are also willing to share their knowledge and pass on their skills to anyone who is interested. They will be running a three hour bean to bar chocolate introduction course that promises to be fascinating and undoubtedly extremely tasty. Just don’t ask Nino for any of his secret recipes – understandably these precious scripts and precise calculations are the one thing he keeps to himself!
So go and check out the 2000 truffles a week that are meticulously shaped by hand. Breathe in the aroma of chocolate and be mesmerized by the swirling, stainless steel pots of chocolate being mixed before it’s molded into its familiar solid state. Talk to the passionate staff and of course taste lots of chocolate!
CocoáFair, Albert Rd. 373-375, 7925 Woodstock, Cape Town, SA
(at the Old Biscuit Mill)
Sales: 073 855 8096 – Factory: 082 0798 687 – Office: 076 454 1025
Monday – Friday (09:00-16:00)