Montedero chocolate: a world of taste in Caguas

The aroma of cocoa conquers the senses at every step taken in the Montedero chocolate establishment, and invites you to taste the excellent variety of products they offer, from chocolate bars made from local ingredients; Over 30 unique flavors of chocolate, sweets, 100% Puerto Rican hot chocolate in addition to coffee.

The mastermind behind this chocolate factory is businessman Germán Ramos Tavares, who together with his wife, Kenia Rodríguez, founded this establishment in the heart of the urban area of ​​Caguas for the year 2021 after losing his job. It was then that the couple embarked on the adventure of setting up a gourmet chocolate manufacturing factory.

“Here we make chocolate using 100% Puerto Rican cocoa, ranked among the 50 best in the world. This cocoa comes from farms in Rio Grande, Naranjito and San Sebastian. We make dark bars with 77%, 62% and 55% cocoa and 33% milk chocolate. We make about 30 types of chocolate, Ramos Tavares said.

The Montedero chocolate display case is a work of art. The attractiveness of their chocolates, their colors and their quality, demonstrate the effort of this Puerto Rican family to achieve a product equal to that of any international chocolate manufacturer.

“Among the most famous chocolates are passion fruit, hazelnut, brownie with caramel, papaya with cheese, piña colada, coconut rum and one from Bacardi, which is one of the most made chocolates here. The ones I like most, which are not on that list, are: coconut kiss and sakura, which is a Japanese flower (cherry blossom),” said the master chocolatier.

“At home we love sweet papaya with cheese for dessert, so we made that bonbon because it is one of our favorite desserts. Some flavors are inspired by kids’ preferences, with customers also suggesting flavors they’ve tried. Additionally, I visit several restaurants in Caguas and start making samples with the chefs. At Christmas we made one with sweet rice which was very tasty,” said the owner.

Other flavors that work are raspberry yogurt, champagne, whiskey roasted almonds, cookies and cream, mint and strawberry, passion fruit mojito, orange liqueur, coffee with cookies, caramel and beer, etc.

The chocolate bars they make have an undeniable Elizabethan imprint, because although their business is based in Caguas, Ramos Tavarez is a native of the Montedero neighborhood of Isabela, which inspired both the name of the business and the design or their chocolate bars.

“We sent a topographic map of the Montadero sector and the mountains located in the Guajataca Forest were replicated in chocolate bar molds. Also, in Montedero, my grandmother ‘Mita’ (Francisca Santiago) cut a net and made chocolate molds from it. I have her hot chocolate recipe because she made the bars for guayara and drank the hot chocolate. “That’s why the business is called Montedero, because he, my father (German Ramos) and I were born and raised in the Montedero sector in Isabela, Puerto Rico, in the middle of the Guajataca Forest,” he said, proud of his roots.

So Ramos Tavarez planned to turn her grandmother’s teachings into a business and, in the process, lay the foundation for Puerto Ricans to enter the exquisite world of chocolate.

“Puerto Ricans are embracing it, but it’s important they know the difference between good chocolate and cheap chocolate. That’s why we strive to seek out exactly Puerto Rican flavors. We also look at things and try to adopt the flavors of other countries and we creolize them and educate them,” said Ramos Tavares, who not only dedicates himself to the manufacturing and selling of his product. but also offer workshops about the history of chocolate and its value. products so that Puerto Ricans can understand the industry.

“We teach you the history of chocolate; We teach you the processes, because there are $1 chocolates and other delicious chocolates that are more expensive, because there are chocolate bars that can cost up to $700,” said the expert, who also sells them at her local pastry shop. Sells. Hot chocolate and 100% Puerto Rican coffee.

But for this family, the goal isn’t just to impress the Puerto Rican consumer. It is also important that it has an impact on foreign tourists.

“I’m starting to travel a lot to learn international flavors because, although it’s a store for Puerto Rican flavors, we also cater to a lot of tourists. I’ve already met people from almost all continents except Austria. We have customers from Africa, India, Japan, China, England, Israel, Athens and Germany, among other countries. European customers leave with lots of chocolate when they come because they already know about the chocolate culture. You know. The same people sometimes give us orders,” said the owner.

Currently Montedero Chocolates works on products for clients such as Hotel La Concha in Dorado, Tiffany, Bacardi, Finca Pastorio and soon they will be working with Walmart Megastore.

They plan to attract the attention of local consumers as well as increase the export of products, which is around 5%. For him, Negotiations underway with a hotel in the BahamasThe owner confirmed.

However, Ramos Tavares has not lost focus on his goal Open second location in Old San Juan During the first months of the year.

“We are almost ready, we still need to take some steps, but there we are going to open a store, a little more pastries and chocolates, we are also going to give workshops,” said the businessman, who invited Puerto Ricans The diaspora will also come here to learn about local chocolate and appreciate the allure of our Puerto Rican cocoa “one of the 50 best in the world”.

Those who want to know more about Montedero Chocolate can visit them in the urban area of ​​Caguas and/or access their website www.montadero.com or their social networks such as Chocolate Montedero.

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