It’s easy to fall in love with chocolate. Chef Romeo Garcia certainly did when he discovered a passion for chocolate making in 2009 in San Francisco to unwind from a fast-paced career in higher education. Romeo became enamored with the artistry of design, 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.
Throughout his diverse career, Romeo has also worked in human rights community organizing, cofounded a Gay Men’s Community Organizing Project, Get out the Vote initiatives, Liwanag Cultural Center, and Pilipino Youth Coalition. He is a successful grant-writer for community development and student services; directing higher education programs for low income, first generation students, and students with disability for more than 12 years at local community colleges and universities.
Romeo is a local small business owner, founding Romeo Chocolates in 2014 through pop-ups followed by a brick & mortar chocolate & wine bar in Downtown Long Beach since 2017. He serves on the Long Beach Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, and the Culinary Advisory Board for Long Beach City College. His mission is to support other small businesses in accessing resources and to serve as an advocate for fair trade & ethically sourced chocolate supply chain and the wellbeing of farmers and communities at the countries of origin; thus continuing his ongoing work for equity and social justice.