BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
REALISING the need to have a place for chocolatey sweet treats after some hearty meal, three friends decided to introduce a dessert franchise dubbed ‘Chocolate Origin’.
The dessert café has seven existing outlets in Singapore with Brunei as its first outlet outside the island nation.
Speaking to The Bruneian, the co-managing director of Chocolate Origin Brunei, Chiea Khai said that they discovered the brand following his friend and brother’s review of the products in Singapore.
“We have always wanted to find a place to chill and we all love chocolate… it is a universal dessert. Then we just happened to hear and find Chocolate Origin, dropped them an email then here we are. Prior to opening, we flew over (to Singapore) and tasted for ourselves,” said the 26-year-old, adding that he shares the business with his childhood friends, Ian Chan and Naveen Pillai.
He added: “The day we inked the contract, we told each other, ‘guys we are finally doing a business together’. Having trust and great communication among us are key. Of course, it is not always smooth sailing but we often discuss on any problems and work to solve them.”
There are three main products on the café’s menu namely its Signature Whole Cake, Dark Chocolate Gelato and Cuppa Lava Cake, all made with premium quality Belgian chocolate.
The whole cake comes in original and dark chocolate flavours. It is layered with chocolate truffles that are enveloped between two layers of chocolate sponge cake, then coated by a smooth, luxurious chocolate ganache.
The gelato’s recipe, took five years for the franchisor to create after countless of modifications. Just like its cake, the gelato is made with premium chocolate and features a velvety smooth texture, a signature of handmade Italian gelato.
Meanwhile, the lava cake is the best-selling item at Chocolate Origin Brunei. The cake is served hot in a cup with oozy surprise centre complemented with a scoop of cold vanilla ice cream at the bottom giving the best combination of two desserts.
Other items on their menu is the array of chocolate and coffee-based beverages which are locally sourced and made by the Bruneian franchisee.
Chocolate Origin Brunei was launched in November 2017 and it has received positive response from the Bruneian market since its inception.
“For our target customers it would be the females and families… but then one thing interesting we spot is the kids. A lot of people come here because of their kids, I think it definitely attracts the children. We do see the increasing demand for desserts in Brunei as Bruneians are more adventurous, people travel more and they tried different food outside,” he said.
Talking about hopes and aspirations for the business, Chiea Khai said: “I hope that this brand will be the name that everyone think of when they thought about desserts and chocolate and a place to chill with their friends. I always believe in the values that we provide for our clients”.