This is one part of a series on homegrown artisanal brands that develop their products with thoughtfulness and a lot of TLC.
The chocolates at Mr. Bucket Chocolaterie (@mrbucketchocolaterie) are handmade at its store (#01-15, 23 Sin Ming Road) daily, and are available in the form of bonbons, chocolate bars, drinking chocolate and chocolate liqueur. Established by founder Jerome Penafort, who is in his 30s, with head chocolatier Cheri Chen and creative lead Deborah Phan, the business offers artisanal treats and only works with farmers in the region.
“We buy cacao beans directly from the farmers, which means that there are no middlemen and the full price is paid to them directly. Cacao production in Asia has been falling over the last few decades because they haven’t been paid enough,” says Jerome. He explains that unlike commercial chocolate, artisanal chocolate usually contains no more than three to four ingredients, and is meant to highlight the flavour nuances of where the beans were grown.
But that’s not all that’s Asian about the business: The brand also offers eclectic fusion flavours such as Double Soy Sauce Caramel (which contains light and dark soy sauce from Kwong Woh Hing) and Mala (made with a mala spice mix by local zi char eatery Hao Zhang Ji). While the team is focusing on widening their product range and curating more experiences to engage with customers, their long-term goal is to change the perception of chocolate from Asia.
“There is a common notion that Asian chocolate is inferior in quality compared to its Western counterparts. We want to change that by creating chocolate treats that provide a unique flavour experience.”