Perfect Chocolate Timing

FOR Kai Caguiat, proud homegrown chocolatier of Davao, everything is a matter of timing. Yes, even chocolates!

Kai started baking during college. When she was still an employee, she got introduced to many sweet varieties and this boosted her interest in sweets. In 2010, she put up Pia Mallows – a little stall that serves gourmet marshmallows covered with Belgian chocolates. But Kai, together with her husband Paulo, know more than just sheer business.

“That business started to thrive but we have always set my family on top of my priority,” shares Kai. “When I learned that I was pregnant with our second baby, I decided to close shop and take things slow since my pregnancy was a little bit difficult.”

“I had the privilege to be a full time mom and I exclusively breastfed my baby,” Kai quips. “But really, home must be where the heart is! My passion just keeps me moving, I went about doing research and hands-on about making chocolates. Later on, I was fortunate to find a chocolatier to teach me personally.”

Kai uses French or Belgian chocolates for her truffles and pralines. “But I am always inclined to put a touch of Davao to my confections. That’s why I made sure that Durian is infused in my some of my creations.” She also expresses her amusement when she learned about the peculiarity of her clients’ taste. “The improvements I made in my chocolates are based largely on the bits of feedback that I get from my customers – and from my husband. There are common favorites like dark, pralines, and durian-kissed. But a lot of them crave for liquor-infused chocolates like the tequila rum.”

The idea of savoring the creamy ganache of truffles from a chocolatier may sound pricey to some but Kai makes it sure that her price is affordable. “I sell them per piece, by fours, or by six. To me, good taste doesn’t need to be expensive. In fact, the prices should be reasonable because we are used to small buys.”

Like any inspired endeavors, challenges are always present. And to Kai, “the challenge is to make in on the right moment. What I have understood in making chocolates for years is that these pieces are capricious. And there has to be the perfect timing to make chocolates and get that expected outcome,” shares Kai. “Once, I worked whole day in the cold kitchen but the chocolates just wouldn’t seem to cooperate. And that was what my mentor told me, that’s chocolates are capricious and you just have to enjoy each minute that you’re making them – and to not get too attached with the results.”

Kai prefers to take things lightly with her Kai Artisan Chocolates business and just keeps on upping her online presence with her variety of confections. Thanks to this angel, it’s such an affirmation to have a passionate woman like her who seems to be the living proof of the adage, “Chocolate is proof that God wants us to be happy.”

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