Started by Ben Ripple and Frederick Schilling, once complete, the new Big Tree factory will be home to a delicious organic chocolate processing plant. Rather than building an industrial eyesore, Big Tree wanted to pay respect to the local aesthetic and build a structure that would blend in with the Balinese scenery in an environmentally friendly way.
Three stories of bamboo make up the 23,500 square foot space. The high-pitched bamboo frame roof is made from dried native alang-alang grass. Most of the interior walls and the façade are made from woven bamboo strips, but then coated with food-grade sealant to meet building codes. The resulting structure looks more like a lush Balinese plantation house than an industrial factory.
The new plant, which opened on 11-11-11 with a big party, will process Big Tree’s organic cacao, from bean to chocolate bar, all under one roof. Supporting local farmers, they’ll grind down local beans and combine them with their own Big Tree sustainable sweetener consisting of coconut-palm sugar — making a totally local and organic product.
With their new sustainable and stunning factory, Big Tree will support over 9,000 Indonesian cacao farmers, including 2,000 local Balinese farmers. Big Tree also makes sustainable goodies like coconut palm nectar, coconut water electrolyte drink mix, exotic honeys, sea salts and seed chips.
Via NY Times