Pod Bali began in 2010 with two simple questions; how does a cacao pod become chocolate and why isn’t it made where it’s grown? Toby Garritt set out to answer these questions in a three year process developing chocolate production techniques and recipes while working with local farmers to create organic, sustainable farming models that increase yield, quality and value for local communities.
Starting out in a thatch-roofed hut nestled between rice paddies, jungle and a herd of rescued Sumatran elephants is as far removed from the world of European chocolate making as you can get. But this tropical landscape is where cacao is typically grown, a narrow band stretching across the equator. And it was here that Bali’s cacao beans were roasted, winnowed and ground on an almost daily basis for three years to develop Pod’s first chocolate recipes.
‘Cacao is more at home amongst jungle and volcanoes than the Swiss Alps. Most high quality chocolate is made with beans sent thousands of kilometers for months at sea to far away factories. Our beans come from freshly harvested pods and often become chocolate within days of being on a tree. We have a lower carbon footprint, greater control over quality and can ensure the social and environmental impact of our sourcing.’
In 2012 Pod built Pod Origin at Bali Elephant Camp, a dedicated production facility & café, opening in January 2013. From Origin, Pod began producing its Classic Range of high quality European-style couverture chocolate; chocolate bars, chocolate blocks and drops for pâtissière, chocolatiers and food services as well as pralines and chocolate gifts and amenities. Pod also began its chocolate tours for people wanting to see for themselves how chocolate is made, a mini-version of Toby’s own journey.
In 2014 Pod began working with organic lontar flower nectar as an alternative sweetener to refined sugar to create its Nectar Range of products, which also draw extensively from local ingredients sourced around Bali. As one of the world’s most antioxidant rich superfoods, it seemed natural to combine cacao with locally grown, unrefined, organic nectar in place of refined sugar. The result is some of the world’s healthiest and delicious chocolate!
Due to increasing demand and expansion internationally, Pod Bali is building a new ‘Pod Factory & Factory Outlet’ opening in the second half of 2016. Pod currently has three outlets in addition to being available at Bali’s International Airport Duty Free & selected retailers throughout Bali. National & International enquiries welcome.
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