It’s no secret that the earth is currently experiencing a climate emergency due to human activities that cause harm to the environment. Many brands today are aware of such a crisis, hence, they make sure to do their part in helping mother earth through thoughtful sustainable practices. One of these brands include Auro Chocolate, a 100 percent Filipino-made chocolate brand, which recently opened its own boutique in SM Mall of Asia.
Apart from its high-quality chocolate products, Auro is also known for its bean-to-bar practice. It is a more sustainable process of making chocolate because it cuts the manufacturing process, minimizing the carbon footprint. Products that support this movement are becoming more popular among consumers because they taste better than other industrially-produced chocolates. Sustainability is ingrained in Auro’s DNA and it is evident in the brand’s first boutique.
Designed by Architect Deo Alam, Principal Architect of DADA Design, the concept of the Auro Chocolate’s boutique is to bring the farm experience to the city. This was achieved by taking the form of local baskets used in farms and designing the store to look like a handwoven basket.
Mark Ocampo, Auro Chocolate’s co-founder and Managing Director was also heavily involved in this project. He conceptualized the design of the store to make sure it embodies who they are as a brand, what they stand for, and what they believe in.
Part of Auro Chocolate’s brand philosophy is to support local products and artisans. In fact, the lights in its store were sourced from Bacolod. The staff’s uniforms are also Filipino-made. Mark shared that he went to a community in Palawan to have the uniforms specifically crafted in detail.
Moreover, Architect Deo highlighted that they tried to minimize the carbon footprint as much as they possibly could when designing and building the store. “It’s more sustainable to use local indigenous material. Production of these materials has close to zero carbon footprints. No chemicals were used, no heat whatsoever. Sourcing locally means no jet fuel was used to send in the materials.
The design team also utilized Filipino artisans and their products as the main material for the store. “We made sure that locally made weaving materials dominate the overall look of the store. We did not want to just add a few local material finishes to make it Filipino. No. The material itself is the star of the store. The ingenuity and cleverness of the artisans with their weaving, the way they adapted their weaving techniques to a new art form is the main showcase,” added Architect Deo.
Auro Chocolate’s store is located right outside IKEA. “When we saw the space, we fell in love with it. It wasn’t the biggest space, but it was the most practical space, perfectly situated and had a light of natural light as well. So we just wanted to make the most of what we have. Everything fell into place and the timing was right, so we decided to move forward with it,” Mark revealed.
Sustainability is more than just a buzz word for Auro Chocolate. It is part of the brand’s identity. The brand ensures that its sustainable efforts should be consistent all throughout while still providing consumers world-class products.
Photos by Ed Simon