In the first installment of our Entre-Pinoy Series in Europe, we featured a new Filipino bakery in the Netherlands which offers the familiar Pinoy favorite pandesal, pan de coco, and Spanish bread. In this story, we will now travel to the quaint city of Gent in Belgium, the home of the world’s first Belgian Tableya.
What happens when you marry Belgian expertise of chocolate-making and the rich decadence of Philippine cacao? A Belgian Tableya is born.
Myey Moens, the founder behind Theo & Brom, is a Filipino-American entrepreneur who recently moved to Belgium to settle down with the love of her life, Matthias.
Her love for both her new home and her native heritage inspired her to bridge these two cultures together through a product that everyone loves and connects with: chocolate.
“When I was conceptualizing our brand Theo & Brom, I was going through a lot of major life milestones. I just migrated to Belgium and got married, and of course, I was missing home. Thus I came up with the mantra: Rooting for one’s roots,” Moens says.
“All that we do is inspired by this mantra, and that includes the name of our brand. It comes from the scientific root word of cocoa, Theobroma Cacao.”
The Tableyas are made from single-estate cacao from Davao and uses traditional muscovado sugar. Unlike Belgian chocolate which are usually associated with gourmet and refined texture, Moens says that the Belgian Tableya is “delicately unrefined” as it is made from rough-ground textures of the traditional tableya.
Theo & Brom works hand-in-hand with local Auro Chocolate which promotes direct trade and sustainable sourcing.
“Our local partners ensure our cacao beans are of the highest quality, which is driven by their heart for local cacao farmers. Direct trade means we do not mind paying almost two times more than the bulk cocoa industry price, because we believe our cacao farmers must be compensated well. This impacts their livelihood, and encourages them to upgrade the quality of their cacao,” Moens says.
As a young startup, Moens has big plans for the Belgian Tableya. The company will soon be launching the Tableya Filipina line, which will be sourced and crafted in the Philippines.
“My dream is to redefine how hot chocolate should be by bringing our timeless tableya tradition to the global spotlight,” Moens says. — LA, GMA News