Abuela ili chocolates
“Chocolate from the Sierra”
The story of abuela ili takes us back to the mid-20th century and the “New World”, but not the one covered by thick rainforests where cocoa represents one of the main crops.
No. Our story takes us much further south, to the city of Mendoza in Argentina.
It was there, in 1940, that little Lidia Postigo, or “ili” as she was known in the family, was born.
She grew up between the cities of Mendoza and Mar de Plata, later marrying Oscar, with whom she settled in Patagonia, where their three children were born: Gabriela, Marcos and Mauricio.
The economic difficulties and social instability of Argentina, coupled with the desire to travel to Spain, led to the couple emigrating to the old continent in search of a brighter future.
Some years later, their children followed suit, settling in the Alpujarra region of the province of Granada, one of the most beautiful parts of Andalusia.
It was there that the idea of making chocolate came about, emulating the old émigrés like Aldo Fenogio and his family, who left behind the Europe of the Great War with the same expectations and put down roots in Patagonia, in the city of Bariloche, where they continued and introduced a chocolate-making tradition that still exists to this day, and which Lidia and Oscar brought back to Spain.
That was how the little family business “Chocolate from the Sierra” was born.
The business grew and, of the three children, it was the youngest, Mauricio, who showed the most interest in, and dedication to, the production of artisan chocolate.
With the same attention to detail and demanding nature as his mother, he undertook a process of local expansion that drove him to embark on a new project: a chocolate factory of both regional and national scope in the village of Pampaneira, at the other end of the Alpujarra region.
That was how “abuela ili chocolate” came about, with the intention of creating a touchstone between his recently-born daughter, Andrea, and his beloved mother, who passed away in 2003.
“abuela ili chocolate”
In 2007, taking on Oscar and Lidia’s mantle, “abuela ili chocolate” took its first steps in Pampaneira, continuing to prioritise the philosophy of excellence and family love passed down by them.
Rocío and Ricardo soon came on board, a young couple from the village who would take on the task of bolstering the project and helping Mauricio to consolidate the business.
Later they would be joined by Verónica and Jesús, another couple, and the two sisters Belén and Elena.
As their families grew, bringing lots of new children to the village, the business project also grew, expanding to include two shops in the Alpujarra region and a franchise in the city of Granada.
Today, abuela ili distributes chocolate to many towns and cities across Spain, and the shop in Pampaneira welcomes thousands of tourists each year, contributing to local development and the economy, and combating rural depopulation.