Breaking Barriers: Interview With Andal Balu, CocoaTown

You have been in the industry for many years and currently serve on FCIA’s board of directors. Why do you think there is a lack of diversity in the fine chocolate industry and what can be done to remedy this?

 Affordability – FCIA events always happen in New York or San Francisco...READ MORE

Andal Balu mentioned in AAPI Heritage month

CocoaTown co-owner Andal Balu writes "I am grateful to City of Atlanta for highlighting me for AAPI Heritage Month spotlight. I am grateful to God for giving me an opportunity to live in the best city to live and have a business. Georgia has been rated as #1 State for entrepreneurs....READ MORE

Mayor’s Office of International Affairs Highlights Atlanta Women Exporters 

In an effort to celebrate women entrepreneurs and their contributions, the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of International Affairs (MOIA) hosted “Women + Trade,” on April 30th, a virtual panel highlighting women exporters based in Atlanta, their impact on the global economy, and how they are managing and dealing with the COVID-19 crisis.....READ MORE

WOMEN+TRADE

In an effort to celebrate women entrepreneurs and their contributions, the City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of International Affairs (MOIA) hosted "Women + Trade," on April 30th, a virtual panel highlighting women exporters based in Atlanta, their impact on the global economy, and how they are managing and dealing with the COVID-19 crisis.....READ MORE


HOW ARTISAN CHOCOLATIERS GOT INVENTIVE THIS DECADE

Chock-a-block with choices: From modifying an idli grinder to creating upcycled cotton waste wrappers, this was an inventive decade for artisan chocolatiers “We are not just in the business of making machines, but of creating chocpreneurs,” says Andal Balu over a phone call from....READ MORE


GLOBE AWARD WINNERS 2019

Today the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s (GDEcD) International Trade division and GDEcD Commissioner Pat Wilson joined Governor Brian P. Kemp to announce the winners of Georgia’s sixth annual GLOBE Awards at an event at the Capitol. This state-led awards program highlights companies that entered into.....READ MORE


GEORGIA HONORS 36 EXPORTERS FOR BREAKING INTO NEW MARKETS

Many represented the usual suspects, but this year’s GLOBE Awards honoring 36 Georgia-based exporters also included some companies new to selling their goods and services overseas. The Georgia Department of Economic Development’s international trade division doles out the awards to honor companies that have been able to....READ MORE


GEORGIA EXPORTER SPOTLIGHT: COCOATOWN

A Q&A interview with Andal Balu and Balu Balasubramanian, Owners County: Fulton Industry: Food Processing Equipment CocoaTown designs, develops, and distributes unique, multipurpose equipment to make gourmet chocolate bars from beans, nut butters and nut milks from nuts and other gourmet foods. What motivated your company to start selling....READ MORE


POLITICIANS, CEOS, CABBIES, COOKS… INDIANS IN AMERICA ARE HAVING A MOMENT

Indra Nooyi is possibly the most visible Indian-American CEO whose corporation PepsiCo is based in Purchase, New York. Dr. Balu M. Balasubramanian, a chemist, and his wife Andal Balu have recast the idli-grinder in a new avatar. Lavina Melwani @lavinamelwani....READ MORE


COCOATOWN IS REWARDED IN ATLANTA METRO EXPORT CHALLENGE

As well as being a Georgia GLOBE Award winner (see previous Newsmaker report), Cocoatown was among the top 10 companies receiving credits from UPS in the March 28, 2018 Atlanta Metro Export Challenge. The top 10 on March 29, 2018:CocoatownDustex LLCGF Health....READ MORE


ONE LAST TIME, GOV. DEAL PRAISES 40 GEORGIA EXPORTERS WHO CRACKED NEW MARKETS

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal meets with the state’s representatives from 12 countries. They promote Georgia products and recruit inbound investment. Gov. Nathan Deal this week headlined his last annual celebration recognizing Georgia companies exporting all over the world. During his customary speech at this year’s....READ MORE


INNOVATION IN PROCESSING COCOA INTO CHOCOLATE:

For years, farmers have been selling cocoa as commodity where the price is set in a distant area of the world removed far away from the cocoa farmers. The cocoa farmers had no control or means to grow their income substantially....READ MORE


CHOCOLATE SUTRA

The humble grinder of idli batter is now a chocolate-making machine Mr. and Mrs. Balu started out selling grinders for idli-dosa batter. Improvising from there, and finding a market niche, they launched CocoaTown, which is now a recognized catalyst for the “bean-to-bar” industry amongst small scale....READ MORE


THE BEAN-TO-BAR PHENOMENON: ‘MICRO-BATCHING’ GROWS UP

This exciting stage of the American craft chocolate market is not unlike what happened in the mid-twentieth century to the California wine industry. At one end of the room, grubby brown beans are being dumped unceremoniously down a metal chute. At the room’s other....READ MORE


THE WELL-TEMPERED BEAN, OR MY VISIT TO COCOATOWN (AKA DANDELION CHOCOLATE)

How can a person love something so much and know so little about it? For example, I love chocolate. In just about all forms. But what did I know about it, other than the way it makes me feel when I let a small square of it....READ MORE


THE KITCHEN-COUNTER CHOCOLATIERS

Obsessives are common in the world of cooking. They go down the rabbit hole of jury-rigged sous-vide machines, or spend two weeks lost in the 38-page bread recipe from the Tartine Bakery. They have cases of homemade lager in the hall closet and roast....READ MORE


FCIA INNOVATION IN FINE CHOCOLATE PRODUCTS AWARD

Innovation in Fine Chocolate Products – Andal Balu RECOGNITION OF EXCELLENCE IN FINE CHOCOLATE: The Fine Chocolate Industry Association (FCIA) is proud to host the Recognition of Excellence awards to recognize outstanding fine chocolate industry professionals and companies for their significant contributions to our segment of the industry. We hope that by hosting these awards....READ MORE


THE EVOLUTION OF CHOCOLATE

Chocolate comes from the cacao bean. This is a basic fact, but it’s hard to imagine that this bean — or any bean — can be transformed into the rich, bitter, sweet, passion-inflaming substance we call...READ MORE