miscellany - Aroma of chocolate in coffee land

miscellany - Aroma of chocolate in coffee land

Coorg is synonymous with quaint coffee estates, lush falls and serene greenery. But did you know that it also houses a mini-chocolate factory, handled completely by a woman? Ever since the quiet town of Coorg started seeing the abundance of homestays, many women started to see themselves in a new light – as entrepreneurs. One such woman is Ketolira Fancy Ganapathy from the tiny village of Yavakapadi near Kakkabbe in Kodagu district.

What initially started as a hobby has now become a full-fledged business for this confident woman. Right from her childhood, Fancy had the desire to make delicious chocolates. She first learnt the art of making chocolates in high school. When she sent over pickles to her friends in Chennai, she got lessons in chocolate making as a return gift. Soon, she started making them for small-time functions and social gatherings in and around Kodagu. When the coffee market in the district started to fluctuate, she resigned from her lecturer’s post and turned her hobby into a full-time business.

Her chemical-free chocolates are widely loved for their delicious taste and have found many regular takers over the past three years. She has a farm where she grows pineapple, orange and passion fruit which she utilises as ingredients for chocolate. She sources dry fruits and fruits like mulberry from outside. She sells chocolates at Rs 1200 per kg while her input costs are around Rs 800-900 per kg. She is helped by her family and friends in this arduous task.

Most of the times, her produce is exhausted by consumers within her locality. In fact, a nearby resort buys products worth Rs 5,000 from her every week. Based on the orders received, Fancy also ships her chocolates to Bengaluru and Chennai. “Everyday, we prepare eight kg of chocolates. It’s a lengthy and exhaustive process. We have some assistants for paper cutting, labelling and have got an affiliation from the Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysuru, thanks to our excellent quality standards,”
explains Fancy.

Through Nalaknadu Flowers and Foliages Association, Fancy is encouraging women in rural areas to produce goods right in the comfort of their homes. She aspires to start an organic co-operative society that markets locally produced chocolates, pickles, and wine.
What more, she is also the only chocolate manufacturer in Karnataka who has tied up with the postal department to market her produce. In order to enjoy her goodies, all you have to do is to place a call to the postal department and you will get her home-made goodies delivered to your doorstep. This service is presently active in Mysuru, Bengaluru and Mangaluru postal departments. What more, you can also enjoy fresh coffee powder supplied from the Coffee Planters Club through this service.

“We prepare a large variety of chocolates and they are in good demand locally.  Thanks to this arrangement, we are now supplying our produce to select cities, reaching out to thousands,” says Fancy.

“Fancy Ganapathy makes flavoured chocolates which are very tasty. She enriches the glory of coffee, cardamom, pepper and ginger which grows in coorg,” says planter Suresh Chengappa of Honey Valley Estate. Every week, he buys 5-6 kg of her chocolates for the visitors who stay in his resort.

Fancy is also working on a chocolate exhibition in her estate, which is nearing completion. She is also planning to organise a chocolate tour for the tourists and has converted her vintage bungalow into a chocolate showroom, where her visitors can learn how to make chocolate.

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