The first time I went to Dipolog, I got to taste the Tablea hot chocolate in Ariana Hotel. It was a cup of comfort for a rainy night and a soothing night cap after a full day’s tour of Dipolog and Dapitan.
This year, on my third trip to Dipolog, I was so amazed to learn the story behind the cup.
I call it the blessing of three’s. Here’s why:
1. Three eras: Tablea Chocolate Café’s artwork shows how chocolate came to be--- From being considered the Food for the Gods or Theobroma, to being the Food for the Royalty or Kings because of its exclusivity and price, to being the food for everybody through affordable yet top-quality chocolate goodies.
2. Three generations of chocolatiers working at the Tablea--- Ms. Armi Garcia-Lopez, her daughter Aya, and her granddaughter Ana.
The first cup of hot chocolate was formulated by Ms. Armi and was served during New Year. Everyone in the family lined up to get a cup. Aya, her daughter, thought of sharing the experience of having a hot cup of the hot chocolate drink with others aside from family and relatives in their Tablea Chocolate Café.
Aya also introduced hot choco partnered with suman and sweet mangoes, champorado topped with milk and peanut butter plus corn flakes, and baked goodies of cakes and muffins to complete the chocolate family through the chocolate café.
When Ana, Aya’s daughter and the third generation chocolatier is in Dipolog, she “works” at the cafe by manning the counter, serving clients their chocolate fixes, and even cleaning the café’s premises.
3. Three delicious products: chocolate drinks, chocolate bars and balls, and chocolate baked products.
From just the hot chocolate and the baked goodies, now come the chocolate bars in different formulations made with cacao beans coming from all over the country.
They have also produced their hot sipping chocolate and champorado mix in a pack so that you can have the same goodness in your own homes.
Sadly, Tablea products are available only in Tablea Chocolate Cafes in Dipolog and Cebu. Maybe the third café and outlet would come soon?
Thank you, Ms. Armi Garcia-Lopez, Aya and Ana for sharing your story.
How to get there:
Major airlines have daily flights to Dipolog City from Manila and Cebu.