Bali Bon Bon, Bali’s premier chocolaterie located on the bypass in Sanur, is the brainchild of owner and chief chocolatier Lanny Lembong and her silent partner Jenny Iskander, and what a delicious pleasure it was to meet with Lanny to learn more about the skill and love that goes into her excellent chocolates.
Lanny first had the idea to start a chocolate business in Bali after visiting Toraja’s cacao plantations. While she was there, she learnt that Bali, with its tropical climate and rich volcanic soil, is one of the world’s leading producers of cacao. And yet the raw cacao was only ever exported for use in overseas markets, before the final product was imported back to Bali, to be sold in supermarkets as chocolate bars, at very high prices. Lanny realised that it would make far more sense, be better for both the environment, and job creation, if the raw cacao could be manufactured into chocolate within Bali. Lanny uses cacao from Indonesia and also occasionally sources small amounts of cacao products from other areas.
Always a chocolate lover, particularly her favourite white truffle chocolate, she knew that if she was to do the raw cacao justice, and produce world-class chocolate, she would need to draw on the skills of a master chocolatier. She called in the help of renowned Dutch chocolatier, Jos den Otter, to help draw up plans for a cutting-edge production facility, and to help develop recipes and train local confectioners in the art of chocolate making. Not only was her teacher an expert in chocolate production, but he had also spent years working in NGO’s facilitating education programs across a range of industries, training local people with skills and supporting them to open their own businesses. It was a good fit for the company, and Lanny spent a full year studying chocolate, recipes, techniques and learning all she needed to in order to create outstanding chocolate.
Bali Bon Bon has now been open for over four years, growing from their initial team of four people, to a very happy team of eight. All of the chocolate is manufactured on-site, with the team working from 9am-5pm, producing large quantities of mouth-watering chocolate every single day. During their busiest times like Christmas, Easter and Valentine’s Day, this can blow out much further, with the staff putting in extra hours to fill all the orders. Easter is easily their busiest time of year, with production starting up to one month beforehand. They make five different sized Easter eggs, as well as their speciality chocolates and Easter bunnies, all handcrafted and made from the finest ingredients. They also specialise in customised gift packs, which can include personalised messages, or company branding.
Lanny says that during busy times, her staff prefer if she stays out of the production room so that they don’t lose their focus, as she is known for stopping for a chat...and perhaps a bit of delicious quality control. She also encourages them to experiment with new recipes, and says many tasty ‘mistakes’ have been made this way.
Come and breathe in the sweet, chocolatey air at Bali Bon Bon, relax in the coffee shop, and sample some of the truly excellent chocolate, from Monday to Saturday, 10am-9pm.