By Adriana Gibbs
Photos: Francisco Javier Godoy / Nathalia Brand
His name is Jose Castellanos, but in Colonia Tovar everyone knows him as “Tico”. He is 33 years old and his family firm “Handcrafted Chocolates” will celebrate the first decade next year. When he arrived to Colonia Tovar in 1995, he could not imagine the course his life would take: he fell in love with the local landscape and discovered his passion for making chocolates.
“Tico” was born in Rubio, Táchira state. He came 22 years ago to Colonia Tovar when his parents decided to venture to make their life in Aragua state. He was 11 years old. “Together with my family I learned to make the typical tachirenses sweets at home. The fondness for cooking comes from my land but it was here in the Colonia where I started to formally make chocolates in 2007 “, he says.
In his house he has the workshop where all his family participates in the chocolaty desires. They make squares and bonbons from cocoa paste that comes from the Aragueña coast. “The painted chocolate (chocolate lollipops and different children figures) is the most requested,” he says.
He owns a small store in the Cruz Verde sector. The sign tells “Handmade Chocolates”, but everyone knows it as “Tico’s chocolates”. He will open his chocolate store in mid-2017 in the sector San José of Colonia Tovar. “I grew up in Táchira but here in the Colonia I have made my life. I’m from Táchira, but I would say that life made me a coloniero“
Tico is another reason to visit La Colonia Tovar and enjoy its gastronomic delicacies.