Get to Know Oodaalolly and Co-Founder Hernan Lauber
Together with our most recent partner, Oodaalolly, we’re reimagining the future of indulgence. Using our non-animal whey protein, Oodaalolly has created the Mushroom Milk Chocolate Bar, a sustainable, animal-free craft chocolate made with USDA-Certified Organic cacao.
We recently sat down with Hernan Lauber, Co-Founder of Oodaalolly, to discuss their passion for chocolate, journey creating the Mushroom Milk Chocolate Bar, commitment to sustainability, and more.
What’s your name, and what do you do?
My name is Hernan Lauber, and I am the co-founder of Oodaalolly. I am a chocolate maker and wear many different hats depending on the day, but I mostly handle the strategy, operations, and commerce side of things.
Tell us about Oodaalolly.
Oodaalolly is a chocolate company that focuses exclusively on Philippine cacao and uses time-honored Swiss chocolate making methods to produce our bars. We are always on the hunt for interesting ingredients that we can source from the Philippines, and beyond that, we can introduce into the craft and greater chocolate market.
What is Oodaalolly’s ethos?
One chocolate bar can change the world. Little things matter. Courtesies and small kindnesses can make a huge difference! Chocolate is a simple pleasure that everyone should be able to enjoy. We are proudly Filipino, but our chocolate is for everyone to enjoy.
What inspired you to create Oodaalolly?
It started as a thought experiment — describe a perfect sustainable chocolate bar, like a Platonic ideal. It would have to be creamy and smooth. Use real ingredients — no oils or filler. It would have to use organic cacao. The farm would be bio-diverse — deforestation is a problem in the chocolate industry. The farmers must be paid well for their hard work and expertise. The packaging would be backyard compostable. All the machines we use to process the beans into chocolate would run on renewable power. Transportation would be carbon offset. And so on and so on.
And our goal was to check off as many of those boxes as we could, knowing that there was no way, especially on the first try, that we’d hit all of them. But by trying, by chasing perfection, we’d get close and in the process learn what was possible.
The bar would be a physical manifestation of an ideal, the touchstone for our brand. It embodies our best effort so far to help achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. It’s not an end, but a new beginning.
How did you start Oodaalolly?
I’m the son of a Swiss chocolate maker, so I have certain expectations when it comes to what I think good chocolate should be. I’m also Filipino, and I know the cacao is amazing there. But when I sampled bars from makers who used Filipino cacao, I thought they were good, but they weren’t what I liked, made in the Swiss school of being ultra-creamy and complex. So I started Oodaalolly to make chocolate using Filipino cacao in the Swiss style I prefer.
How’d you hear about Perfect Day?
We first heard about Perfect Day on Reddit! Your CEO Ryan Pandya turned the post into an impromptu AMA, and we were fascinated by what he said Perfect Day was all about. Shortly after, we reached out to see if we could experiment with your non-animal protein and the rest is history.
What did the development process of Oodaalolly’s Mushroom Milk Chocolate Bar look like?
It was a relatively straightforward iterative process. We approached making chocolate with the dry powder from Perfect Day just like we do with conventional milk powder.
A big reason milk chocolate is so enjoyable is that milk proteins form an interface between solid and fatty components, acting as an emulsifier. An essential step in Swiss-style chocolate making is conching — where particles in an emulsion of chocolate are polished and caramelization and Maillard reactions with milk proteins occur, over an extended period (often as long as 72 hours) resulting in the distinctive Swiss creaminess when the chocolate melts in your mouth.
Because of our excitement to see what people think of this product, we settled relatively quickly on a recipe that produced a caramel tone with peppery finding notes. But we continue to experiment with different formulations and are excited to see what we come up with next…
If you could give Oodaalolly’s Mushroom Milk Chocolate Bar to anyone – past or present – to try, who would it be? And why?
Swiss chocolatier and entrepreneur Daniel Peter. Over 135 years ago he came up with the basic formula for making milk chocolate—a mixture of cacao, sugar, and powdered milk—and he forever changed the world.
It would be cool to show him this latest innovation in chocolate. And I think he’d be proud that a Swiss national was involved in its creation.
How does Perfect Day align with Oodaalolly’s business goals?
We try our best to use the best ingredients that are traceable, sustainable, and ultimately do little harm when feasible. Those are just values that are important to us and our business and we seek out partners that are aligned in that vision and purpose. Perfect Day, in terms of what they are able to provide with their business model, is a perfect fit. Oodaalolly is just a small Fil-Am business trying to achieve big goals by being creative, innovative, and thinking outside the box.
And finally, what is your vision of a kinder, greener future?
One of the many roles that I have is as a father to two young boys. Jeremy also has two young boys at home so we often talk and think about the world and the small impacts we can make through our decisions to ensure that future generations have the same opportunities to thrive as we did. Climate change is one of the greatest challenges that mankind faces, we see the impacts everywhere, and there is no silver bullet. There is not one single thing that will make a difference, it’s going to require the collective collaboration of many different forces coming together. Commerce and business is just one area or factor where we can all make small impacts through the decisions we make, the products we buy, and the organizations we support. So by increasing the awareness of the downstream effects of how the things we purchase impact the world, that’s one way we can all make a difference. Conscious capitalism is a buzzword that gets thrown around a lot but we hope all businesses at least consider this when creating their strategies because that can lead to a kinder, greener, future.
We’d love to hear your thoughts!
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