Monggo, the Indonesian Chocolate Fairytale


Thierry Detournay was on a long vacation in Southeast Asia when he first came to Indonesia.

It wasn’t long until our motherland worked her charms on him, so much so that he decided live here permanently. “My background is psychology but I had no idea of what I was going to do,” expressed Thierry. “All I know is I really want to live here.”

Being a Belgian, chocolate is bound to be a large part of his life. Initially, Thierry started formulating chocolates for himself and his friends because he could not find local producers in Indonesia at that time. One of his friends then decided to sell his chocolates in a pink Vespa at Universitas Gadjah Mada.

“We were rather curious of how locals would respond to my chocolates. Compared to other local chocolate brands, I use 100% cacao butter from the beginning to give it the fine quality of chocolate. Surprisingly, the market responded well even though it was a bit more expensive. Now the sales are growing even better,” he shared.

Thierry’s decision to use only pure cacao butter is a tradition in Belgium; Belgians would fuse it with other ingredients including nuts, and finally turning them into pralines, ganache, chocolate truffle and chocolate bars. It takes a few weeks to process the cacao to chocolate products.

He chooses the exact flavours his company would produce based on his past experiences with chocolates. He also carefully examines the taste of the chocolate and the fillings to come up with a perfectly balanced special recipe. “There is a mix of Indonesian culture and European chocolate behind our products,” he says.

This year, Monggo Chocolate celebrates their 10th anniversary. Thanks to Thierry, Indonesia now has their ‘extra fine chocolate’ grown and produced from our own lands, ready to be shared with the rest of the world. “It’s is our commitment to make real good chocolates with Indonesian cocoa beans and promote it,” concludes Thierry.

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Barbara Hahijary
Barbara earned her bachelor's degree in architecture from the Interior Architecture Program of the University of Indonesia in 2013. Historical or heritage buildings, as well as utilitarian design, fascinates her as it is the interaction between people and architecture that remains her favourite topic to explore. Besides architecture, her interests include design, handcrafts, literature and social issues.

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