The First Chocolatier of Yogyakarta
This adventure begins in Yogya in 2001 when a Belgian man, 35 years of age, arrives in Indonesia without a plan in mind. Disappointed by the lack of quality chocolate in the shops of the world's 3rd largest producer of cocoa, the Belgian decides to take matters into his own hands and endeavors to make some specialties of his low-land country using limited resources.
The first chocolate truffles to be given to his Indonesian friends caused their eyes to light up with pleasure. You have to make more they said! So off he went on his old pink Vespa which he had transformed into a vending stall. Every Sunday morning he sold them at the Gadjah Mada University market and outside the Kota Baru church. More for pleasure and for discovering the reactions of people rather than for making money, these interesting moments shaped the man's career and made him the first chocolatier of Yogyakarta.
To turn the dream into reality, he still needed to combine his good energy with adequate capital. The first initiative to create a store was not a great success and the project was soon abandoned. But it was a step towards the creation of the company Anugerah Mulia in 2005.
This small, dynamic team of chocolate lovers created their first products under the name of Cacaomania; boxes of pralines targeted at young adults. The name was finally abandoned because it was too general - we needed a product that would fill a niche in the market before tackling a larger project.
The Birth of Monggo
The history of Monggo debuts on a hot afternoon in a house in downtown Yogyakarta. Three of us had gathered for a brainstorming session, Edo (director), Burhan (creative) and Thierry (chocolatier). We had to find the name of a chocolate product that was typical of Yogya. It needed to be easy on the ear, not too difficult to remember and unique at the same time. A Javanese word ... After a few failed attempts, one of us came up with: MONGGO ...! Yes! Yes! Eureka !
Monggo, is a Javanese word meaning "please" that people use all the time in Yogya together with a thumb gesture (similar to the sign used by hitchhikers but in a horizontal position), when someone passes in front of you, when invited into someone's house and when you leave again etc. Even those that are non-Javanese end up using it. This little word seemed so representative of the Javanese culture, the city of Yogyakarta and a perfect name for our chocolate.
Since our beginning in 2005, Chocolate Monggo has expanded with almost a 150 staff now working with us in our main offices in Yogyakarta, Jakarta, Surabaya. Our main production takes place in our Kotagede, Yogyakarta factory where our handmade delights are created. We then distribute to many cities around Java and Bali and plan to expand to other islands throughout Indonesia in the not too distant future.
We are continuously working on ways to improve our products with respect for all Indonesia offers us. Eventually we hope to introduce our uniquely Indonesian chocolates overseas.