Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau
Filipino-American Romeo Garcia is a matchmaker. But instead of people, it’s about taste, infusing flavors with one of the most romantic, edible ways to spread love: chocolate.
The Filipino American chocolatier spends his days hooking up flavors, including Pinoy tastes, with different types of chocolate.
“Whenever you want to show love and care and affection to someone what better gift than chocolate? It’s a nice, sweet indulgence. I like to facilitate that when someone wants to treat that special someone with a gift,” said Garcia of Romeo’s Chocolate.
The sweet world of chocolate wasn’t his first passion. Garcia spent 15 years in higher education and did a lot of work with Filipino communities throughout California. He eventually decided to go across the oceans to study chocolate.
“It requires a lot of education, a lot of training. I had to have the right training to understand chocolate so I had to fly to Belgium and learn from master chocolatiers,” he said.
Garcia is a well-traveled man and he said each piece, each flavor, is a collection of the many places he’s visited.
While Garcia has truffled throughout Europe, his journey began in the Philippines.
A child of overseas Filipino workers, Garcia’s early memory of chocolates were from the ones that his parents sent.
“When I do chocolate events like, this I remember when our parents gave us balikbayan boxes and in there were gifts such as chocolates so those are gifts that show affection, show care,” he said.
His pop-ups draw many fans looking to fulfill their cravings. He’s now getting ready to open his crowd funded shop in downtown Long Beach later this spring and going back to his roots as an educator where he’ll be giving workshops to youth.