Celebrating Bhutan's Entrepreneurs: Kinley Pelden Of Yiga Chocolates

Email

This story is part of an exclusive feature by Yeewong Magazine in Dec 2018 on celebrating entrepreneurship in Bhutan.

(Source: Facebook/YiGa Chocolate)

 

By Staff Reporter Yeewong Magazine

Kinley Pelden runs Yiga Chocolates – a business that makes chocolates with an interesting mix of local Bhutanese flavours such as chillies, quinoa, ginger and mountain blueberries.

Even though there were some concerns as there are already a lot of imported chocolates in the market, Kinley was confident of her business venture. Her unique brand of chocolate is the first to don the ‘Made in Bhutan’ tag.

Support given to Yiga Chocolates

In addition to receiving the Loden-DHI Fund, Yiga Chocolates received extra support, with publicity and mentors to guide her. Moreover, the Department of Cottage Industry supported the start-up with a space for two years.

The Ministry of Labour and Human Resource also contributed to Yiga Chocolates by providing two employees who are paid 75% of their salaries as part of the Ministry’s youth employment initiatives.

This came as a lifeline for the fledgling business, according to Kinley. Today, Yiga Chocolates produces 100 to 200 bars of chocolates per day.

However, Kinley is aware that compared to the big players, her production is small in scale and she admits that it is difficult to compete with international players at the moment.

What makes Yiga Chocolates unique?

Undaunted, Kinley has confidence in some of the unique selling points of Yiga Chocolates. First of all, her products are hand-crafted and packaged (without using machines), hence the impact of the environment has been kept to a minimum.

Secondly, Yiga Chocolates has embraced the enthusiasm for superfoods. With the change in people’s lifestyles and a growing awareness on health foods, Kinley took the opportunity to add various superfoods to her chocolates such as sea buckthorn, gooseberry and Thingay (Sichuan pepper), which can be found locally.

Photo: Instagram/soulfoodyi

 

She is positive that demand for these superfoods-infused chocolates will grow in time. Besides Kinley Pelden’s own online research for chocolate recipes, she is also keen to experiment with new flavours.

Kinley also enrolled for a crash course on using small machines to make chocolates into bars in Bangalore and is currently taking an online course on chocolate making.

Challenges faced by Yiga Chocolates

She is thankful that the feedback she has received thus far has been generally positive. Another challenge that she has to face is the fact that Yiga Chocolates is the first chocolatier business in Bhutan.

Being a pioneer in the field of chocolate-making in Bhutan has its pros and cons. On one hand, there is no one to draw lessons from, as all problems which Kinley has faced are unique, and this can be rather discouraging.

 

Candied Wild lemon chocolate. Wild lemon is locally known as Hoompa or Deyhoom. It has a strong refreshing flavour and is harvested from the pristine forests of Punakha. It is a source of supplemental income for some farmers in the district.

Photo: Facebook/YiGa Chocolate

 

On the other hand, a new venture is full of exciting possibilities. Always keen to learn, Kinley Pelden is constantly trying to improve her skills.

Plans in the pipeline for Yiga Chocolates

Her next big project is to introduce truffles to the Bhutanese market. While expanding businesses comes with a combination of risks and opportunities, Kinley is still optimistic about the future for artisanal products in Bhutan.

She strongly encourages young entrepreneurs to just try whatever excites them.

“If things do not work out, continue to adjust or improve. This was what I did with my chocolates recipes,” she said. One of the struggles which Kinley faces is in creating awareness on the value of artisanal chocolates as not everyone understands why hand-crafted chocolates are priced higher.

 

This article first appeared in Yeewong Magazine and has been edited for Daily Bhutan.

 


Related Posts

Celebrating Bhutan's Entrepreneurs: Pelden Wangchuk Of Nazhoen...

This story is part of an exclusive feature by Yeewong Magazine in Dec 2018 on celebrating entrepreneurship in Bhutan.

Mar 31, 2019 15:28

Celebrating Bhutan's Entrepreneurs: Sonam Choki of Bhutan Herbal...

This story is part of an exclusive feature by Yeewong Magazine in Dec 2018 on celebrating entrepreneurship in Bhutan.

Mar 24, 2019 19:15

Celebrating Bhutan's Entrepreneurs: Sonam Lhamo Of Bumthang Milk...

This story is part of an exclusive feature by Yeewong Magazine in Dec 2018 on celebrating entrepreneurship in Bhutan.

Mar 18, 2019 10:19

Celebrating Bhutan's Entrepreneurs: Thinley Yangzom Of Bhutan...

This story is part of an exclusive feature by Yeewong Magazine in Dec 2018 on celebrating entrepreneurship in Bhutan.

Mar 07, 2019 20:26

Celebrating Bhutan's Entrepreneurs: Tshewang Dema Of Tshejor's...

This story is part of an exclusive feature by Yeewong Magazine in Dec 2018 on celebrating entrepreneurship in Bhutan.

Mar 02, 2019 19:59

Constructive Steps Need To Be Taken For Bhutan To Become 100%...

Various measures need to be taken for Bhutan to become 100% organic by 2020.

Jun 06, 2018 15:26

Latest

News

Bhutan Moves Closer To Becoming 100% Organic With National Organic Flagship Programme

The flagship programme’s Annual Performance Agreement was signed between Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering and the Agriculture and Forests...

Aug 24, 2019 22:38

Training Of Trainers On ‘Search Inside Yourself’ To Build Mindfulness Among Civil Servants In Bhutan

The Royal Civil Service Commission and the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute (USA) organised the training.

Aug 23, 2019 23:58

Features

Bhutan Women Parliamentary Caucus Launched To Promote Gender Equality

It is expected to address the need for women role models at leadership and decision-making levels in Bhutan.

Aug 20, 2019 17:08

Fulfilling His Majesty The King’s Vision, Digital Drukyul Is Set To Improve Public Service Delivery And Empower Citizens Digitally

Digital Drukyul will help create a digital ecosystem for citizens which is unencumbered by bureaucratic red tape.

Aug 19, 2019 15:28

Sports

Two Young Bhutanese Swimmers Competed In 18th FINA World Championship

The duo are proud to represent Bhutan and compete on a worldwide stage for the first time.

Jul 28, 2019 21:32

Bhutan’s Dragon Boys Starts FIFA World Cup Qualifiers With A 1-0 Win Over Guam

Midfielder, Tshering Dorji’s 35th minute strike was enough to make Bhutan win the first leg of the first round of the 2022 World Cup and...

Jun 08, 2019 22:18

Business

Southeast Asian Company Invests Over US$100,000 In Bhutanese Start-up Drukfood

The investment includes a mix of cash and investment-in-kind.

Aug 15, 2019 14:26

Bhutan’s First Crowdfunding Platform Gaining Traction, Opens Doors For Entrepreneurs To Raise Funds

So far, three promoters - Bhutan Alternatives, Freelancer Bhutan and Himalayan food have registered with the Bhutan crowdfunding platform.

Aug 05, 2019 22:10

Travel

7 Facts You Never Knew About Flying Into Bhutan

Druk Asia interviewed Namgyal Wangchuk, Senior First Officer with Drukair to find out what it's like to fly into Paro International Airport.

Aug 07, 2019 23:18

Bhutan Has Great Potential To Be A Top Eco-Tourism Spot: Albert Teo

Despite Bhutan being home to a wide array of flora and fauna, it is still not a top ecotourism destination.

Jul 19, 2019 23:58

Lifestyle

Many Lives, Many Stories - 10th Edition of Bhutan’s Mountain Echoes Literary Festival Underway

About 80 speakers and performers came from different parts of the world with different stories to narrate.

Aug 25, 2019 22:42

Bali-Bhutan Art Exhibition Hosted By VAST Bhutan To Enhance Friendship And Exchange Of Ideas

Founded in 1998, VAST Bhutan has been promoting and facilitating art exchange programmes with various nationalities.

Aug 22, 2019 14:28

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!