“I saw an opportunity to create the best chocolate in the world.”
- Year selected
Felix is an entrepreneurial legend with 50 years of success in Chile building more than 25 companies. While most of his peers were preparing for retirement, at the age of 71, Felix founded Chocolates Brunatto — the leading producer of fine fresh chocolate in Latin America. The chocolates’ proprietary flavors, texture and presentation are marketed to both the consumer and corporate markets. The company has been recognized by international chocolate connoisseurs as one of the top 10 fresh chocolate producers in the world.
They’ve partnered with many different companies including some of the largest in the country. Radisson Hotel, Universidad del Pacifico, Scotiabank, Skechers, and BancoEstado are just a few of the companies that have used Chocolates Brunatto’s products. The company has been recognized by international chocolate connoisseurs as one of the top 10 fresh chocolate producers in the world.
Felix ventured into the forest industry in the 1950’s where he spent a decade building the leading producer of new applications for wood products (i.e., prefabricated housing, furniture, popsicle sticks). From 1960 through the early 1980’s Felix started up companies in the publishing industry, optics and merchandising. In 1983, he was inspired by the potential of “lombricultura” and moved to the very south of Chile to start an earthworm farm.
After several years in southern Chile, Felipe visited Europe to develop his understanding of European craftwork. Felix spent time with European artisans (in Belgium, France and Italy) and learned how to produce and sell premium ice cream and chocolate. Observing the combination of detailed know-how and technology, he envisioned Chile as a potential leader in this industry. While most of his peers were preparing for retirement, at the age of 71, Felix teamed up with Cristobal Camino to found Chocolates Brunatto – the leading producer of fine fresh chocolate in Latin America.
Cristobal Camino is a Commercial Engineer from the Adolfo Ibanez Business School. Cristobal complements Felix’s vision and philosophy with his own energetic youth and disciplined business sense. A second time entrepreneur, Cristobal partnered with two friends to launch a copying center (CLS) in downtown Santiago following school. While teaching at Inacap, a national training institute for technical careers, he met Felix Brunatto and formed a long-lasting friendship. Inspired by the potential of fine chocolates, Cristobal consolidated his professional activities in 1999 and focused 100% of his time to building Chocolates Brunatto.
In search of a location where people appreciated their local environment, Felix and Cristobal chose to found the company in the heart of a small rural town called Curacavi (population 12,000). It is here where Chocolates Brunatto passionately pursues the vision of building the “Ferrari” of the chocolate experience, providing consumers with an integral sensory experience, including taste, texture, smell and even sound. Chocolates Brunatto has revitalized Curavaci with opportunity, pride, and community leadership. It has become a cornerstone of the local economy, adding jobs, investment and recognition. Chocolates Brunatto has sponsored local beautification projects, cultural festivals, and community events (among Brunatto’s contributions is leadership in a local association designed to promote tourism to the town based on local traditions). The company has also brought national attention to the town, with major coverage by Chile’s leading television stations and newspapers. A rare case of rural entrepreneurship, Chocolates Brunatto is a powerful story of how founders, employees and community can pursue a vision and leverage entrepreneurial capitalism for local development.
Endeavor and Chocolates Brunatto
Through Endeavor, Felix has received guidance on financial strategy, sales, and marketing, and participated in an Entrepreneur Summit and various workshops. Additionally, an eMBA student assisted him with an internationalization strategy.