Coimbatore-based M&N Chocolates delivers their organic and single-origin offerings, promising to arrive in Chennai soon
Three years after setting up the country’s first chocolate museum in Ooty, M&N Chocolates has finally stepped outside ‘home’. The chocolate-making offshoot of the 73-year-old NPS Group of Companies, that creates handmade chocolates, teas, spices and oils, set up stores in Coimbatore and Bengaluru last month. Here, they stock bars, truffles, lollipops and other goodies made of fine chocolate. Sourcing from their own factory in Ooty, where, after roasting, winnowing, grinding and quenching, the daily produce goes up to 110 kilos, their Coimbatore store is managed by Habibul Rahman, one of the three brothers behind M&N. Together, they are known as ‘the choco-brothers’ in Ooty, and they intend to spread awareness about cocoa, fine-chocolate and their numerous uses and health benefits.
“Having four cocoa farms of our own is an advantage,” says Rahman, who regularly interacts with farmers to understand their work better. M&N also sources from farms in other places like Pollachi (Thenarasu Cocoa Farm) and Kerala (Sait Cocoa Farm) and import from around nine countries like Ghana and Madagascar. “Among the popular varieties, Forastero is commonly grown in the country, and gives Indian chocolate a woody and smoky feel, unlike the British and Swiss varieties that are milky and shiny,” shares Rahman, whose research advisory committee has Yella Reddy, a scientist and former director of Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI), on board.
“My brother Fazloor is a certified chocolatier, while I have a PhD in lipid nanotechnology,” says Rahman, adding, “By 2018, we are looking to set up 30 stores across the country (Chennai by the end of the year), by which time we would also have set up a chocolate museum in Coimbatore.” Besides shopping, customers will also get to learn about the history of cocoa (dating back to the 17th century) and the chocolate making process, at this museum.
At their 350 sq ft store in Coimbatore, truffles, lollipops and organic bars in quirky flavours like pepper salt are on display. There are also single origin chocolates (that use cocoa sourced from a single country) and herbal and sugar-free variants too. And if you do not like experiments, we suggest the classic assorted dark (up to 70 per cent) and milk chocolates. Other flavours include fruity offerings like sweet orange, lemon, strawberry, apple, and black current, and their best-seller green chilli (it makes you reach for a glass instantly). M&N also makes chocolates with fruit and cream fillings (think almond truffle, strawberry cream, mince apricot and pineapple fantasy), and save for the lack of Oompa Loompas, this store is a must visit for chocolate lovers of all ages.
M&N delivers to Chennai in two days of placing your order. Priced from Rs 120 per box (nine pieces). Details: 0422 4276633