Tiago Alves, who is 34 years old, started the business in 2012 and opened the current factory, in Rabo de Peixe, in the municipality of Ribeira Grande, on December 11, 2014.

In addition to the manufacturing unit, which produces an annual average of 16 tons of chocolate, the company also has two stores where its products are sold (one next to the factory, in Rabo de Peixe, and another in the city of Ribeira Grande).

The company “O Chocolatinho” currently has 19 employees (nine in the factory and the rest in stores) and the turnover in 2023, in store turnover alone, was 600 thousand euros, according to the businessman.

As for the factory, without specifying values for the previous year, he said that turnover doubled, compared to the years 2019, 2020 and 2021.

“Our factory’s business volume is growing, which is also leading us to build a new factory. We are now implementing a new project. We are going to open an industrial area solely linked to the chocolate industry, with 1,200 square meters. We will have a chocolate shop that will also allow us to export with confidence”, the businessman told Lusa.

The objective is to open the new unit within two years to increase production, respond to customer requests and invest in the so-called “saudade market” (exports to countries where Azoreans live).

“Right now, the nostalgia market is our objective. We are talking about around 150 stores in the United States [of America] and [in] Canada wanting our product and they cannot have it, because we have, first, no way to get it there and, second, no way to produce it in large quantities”, he explained.

The investment in the new manufacturing unit, which will be built in the industrial area of Rabo de Peixe, where the businessman has already acquired land, has not yet been defined, but Tiago Alves guarantees that the “maximum ceiling” will be seven million euros and will be carried out using community funds, through the 2030 Program.

According to the person responsible, the new chocolate factory in Rabo de Peixe is being designed to also have a tourist aspect: “The objective of the factory is to be able to receive tourists. In our [current] manufacturing unit, we cannot, because it is a very small area and does not allow us to have visits”.

Currently, the “O Chocolatinho” factory has customers in the country (mainland and islands) and abroad (central European countries), Canada and the United States of America.

It produces various products in the chocolate sector, such as chocolates, artisanal truffles and derivatives, with flavours characteristic of the nine islands of the Azores (pineapple, various liqueurs, caramel, honey, São Jorge cheese, ground pepper, passion fruit, strawberry, Galician lemon, beetroot , green and black tea from Gorreana, among others).

The Rabo de Peixe company also has a pastry and ice cream business.