MEET: Marielle Flores Moens, co-creator of 1st Belgian Tableya using Philippine cacao

PHOTO CREDIT: Theo and Brom Facebook

Meet Marielle “Myey” Flores Moens, a Filipina entrepreneur from Cavite who is the co-creator of Theo and Brom – the first Belgian Tableya that is warming the hearts of the Belgian and North American market.

The name Theo and Brom is derived from the cacao’s scientific name Theobroma Cacao. This wonderful Belgian Tableya actually has its roots in the Philippines – it’s practically Filipino with the sophistication of a Belgian chocolate.

The idea came when Marielle & Matthias Moen, a Belgian, moved back to Belgium and realized that the chocolate-loving country does not have a chocolate tableya that is actually common in the Philippines.

They wanted their product to be a combination of the two cultures. “Our mission of bridging both worlds strive to highlight how many distinct cultures can bond with commonalities, embrace one’s differences and bring forth the best of what each has to offer.”

The creators made the Theo and Brom Belgian Tableya from the famous Philippine cacao of De la Cerna Single Estate Cacao beans in Davao, and Muscovado sugar from the Philippines.

Marielle admitted she had a lot of difficulty when she was trying to develop their product. She encountered resistance from chocolatiers in Belgium, and was ignored by others who looked down on her as someone unknown in the chocolate industry.

Luckily she met Dr. Zoi Papalexandratou, a well-known researcher that knows Philippine cacao beans who in turn, introduced her to Mario Vandeneede, a multi awarded chocolate maker and chocolate artisan that founded the Chocolatoa which has received recognition in the European and International Cocoa Awards.

The chocolate artisan helped the Moens develop the recipe for Theo & Brom Tableya, believing that the Belgian Tableya will be like coffee and will soon to be a household name.

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The Good News Pilipinas Team is a group of Filipino journalists who advocate putting more good news stories about the Philippines and Filipinos on the media.