Barrigada Heights factory produces local chocolates - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Barrigada Heights factory produces local chocolates

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 by Joan Aguon Charfauros

Guam - How many of you remember that infamous scene from I Love Lucy? You know, where Lucy and Ethel are in the chocolate factory? Well, that is how I felt when stepping into the Guam Premium Chocolate factory located in Barrigada Heights. The company recently revealed during a grand opening a new way to give Guamanians and our visitors a way to indulge their sweet tooth.

William Ymesei is operations manager and director of marketing, and told KUAM News about how his company launched the new venture. "The factory was just commissioned as a part of Patterson Enterprise, serving the island and Micronesia."

Taking a tour through their immense factory, I was intoxicated by the smell of delicious chocolate. According to Ymesei, there has always been a market for locally made souvenir items and Guam Premium Chocolate offers white, dark chocolate or milk chocolate covered macadamia nut candies. "It's been geared to either locals or visitors. When they are leaving, it reminds people of Guam. We push for locally-made products using the Guam Product Seal to endorse locally-made products.

Guam Premium Chocolate Company unveiled their production facility in the Patterson Building, which houses a full factory used to prepare, assemble, package and store chocolate treats right here on the island, creating confectionary delights with a fresh twist. "We realized Guam has an opportunity to premiere high quality," said Ymesei. "We didn't skimp on any of the equipment. We had people from Switzerland, Belgium, Germany advise us about the gear and also about the raw materials for our chocolates."

The assembly line is capable of yielding a volume of 100 cases per run, which is about 3,500 boxes of chocolate per day. The machine is of German design and handles the Belgian chocolate recipes, which is presented in a transparent showroom so that visitors can see. But lucky for you, you can pick up your very own box of Guam Premium Chocolate at several stores on island.

 Ymesei said, "We're in most of the retail locations. We have a big presence. Many of the boutiques have our products, so you can find us there."

So if you have yet to taste the amazing chocolate from Guam Premium Chocolate, Ymesei invites the community to stop by in the factory across from the Mobil gas station near the entrance to Barrigada Heights. "We'd like to ask local residents to come out. We're in most of the stores and we actually have samples. The taste shows that it is a higher quality. It's the result of time and love. We're sure you're going to enjoy it once you try it yourself," he said with a smile.
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