Romeo Garcia of Romeo Chocolates  | Photo by Sara Hickman

THE Long Beach Bacolod Association will present the Small Business Award to Romeo Garcia during its MassKara Festival on Sunday, August 4 at Recreation Park. 

Entrance is FREE and attendees can expect an array of food and entertainment, including a stunning performance direct from Bacolod, by the award-winning MassKara dancers!

It’s easy to fall in love with chocolate.  

Chef Romeo Garcia certainly did when he discovered a passion for chocolate making while taking cooking classes 10 years ago in San Francisco during the weekend to unwind from a fast-paced career in higher education.  

In his search for re-centering and relaxing from long work days, Romeo became enamored with the artistry of design, the balance of flavors, and the richness of the story of cacao and chocolate-making.  An avid learner, Romeo decided to take a creative sabbatical and a career change. He enrolled and graduated from Ecole Chocolat Professional School of Chocolate Arts, completed the Master Chocolatier Program in Belgium, and toured boutique chocolate shops in Paris, Rome, & Brussels. He continued his studies with Chef Russ Thayer in Chicago Chocolate Academy and with Chef Melissa Coppel and Chef Gabriele Riva in Las Vegas Atelier d’ Coppel.

Starting with pop-ups in 2014, Romeo began sharing his creations around Long Beach while taking courses with the Small Business Development Center, The Downtown Long Beach Alliance, and creating meaningful relationships with other local artisans & small business owners.  Through a successful Kickstarter campaign, capacity building funds from Long Beach Economic Development, and through the gracious support of volunteers.

Romeo Chocolates opened on 460 Pine Ave in June 2017.  Since opening, Romeo Chocolates has received awards from the International Chocolate Salon in 2017, the distinction of Best Dessert Long Beach in 2018 from Long Beach Home & Living, listed as one of the Most Romantic Restaurants by Beach City Food Tours, top 10 chocolate shops by the LA Times, and an honor from Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia with the Long Beach Small Business Award.

Originally from Batangas, Philippines, Romeo now calls Long Beach home, and you can try his various creations as he carefully sources local ingredients and chocolate from various regions around the world.

The MassKara Festival will be held on Sunday, August 4 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Recreation Park (4900 E. 7th Street, Long Beach, CA)

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