This chocolate brand of Venezuelan capital, founded in 1861 by Swiss immigrants, disappeared from the national market shortly after being acquired, in the XNUMXs, by the Colombian multinational Colombina.
For decades, the chocolate for cups that was drunk in Venezuela was from the La India Chocolate factory, considered for more than a century one of the best in the country and the world. Its recipe was Swiss and its main ingredient: the Venezuelan cocoa.
Founded in 1861 by the Swiss brothers Fullié, this chocolate plant that had several locations in Caracas had from its beginnings with modern machines that gave the chocolate a finer consistency and better flavor, replacing with its presence the traditional way in which the chocolate was presented. chocolate, in a ball made from coarsely ground cocoa.
There were several national and international awards that Chocolate La India, which also exported its products, obtained for years.
La India Phosphated Oats-Cacao, a mixture of oats with cocoa from wow and Ocumare, was one of its star products, as well as the Phosphatine Fullie, a food made for the sick and children.
In 1913, they added chocolates to their production line that they named Duncan, cocoa and soluble chocolate powder, which they recommended "for all people with weak stomachs and those who, due to the fat they contain, cannot digest chocolate on tablets".
Another attraction of this factory of the Fullié brothers is that it had a cafeteria in Caracas, located between the corners of De Gradilla a Sociedad, and a ladies' room, in which hot chocolate was drunk in a cup prepared with the Swiss and French recipe.
Chocolate India changes hands
When one of the Fullié brothers died in 1913, and when the other was forced to leave Venezuela for medical reasons, he decided, after half a century of chocolate tradition in the country, to sell the factory to a group of Caracas businessmen.
This is acquired by Julio Blanco Ustáriz, Lewis J. Proctor, L. Pérez Díaz, Rafael Max Valladares, Alfredo and Oscar A. Machado, who maintain the Fullié company name and the La India brand.
In 1918 these new investors acquired a piece of land in Santa Rosalía, Caracas, between the corners of Rosario and San Roque, where they installed the chocolate factory, which, eight years later, they modernized with the purchase of new machinery, with which they make fondant chocolate. and with milk.
In the mid-XNUMXth century, Chocolate La India moved to Colombia street in Catia, and in the XNUMXs it was acquired by the Mayoral family and incorporated into the Fiesta Group.
Over time, there are other products that Chocolate La India brings to the market, among them, the Dandy, chocolate dragées covered with flavored candies that are still offered for sale in the Venezuelan market with the seal of Colombina, and the Taquitos, which only older generations of Venezuelans will remember.
Colombina buys Chocolate India
At the end of May 1995, after a year of secret negotiations, Colombina obtained 100% of the shares of the Venezuelan group Fiesta, in an operation that was signed in Panama through the intermediary Baninsa.
Grupo Fiesta was a family business established in 1955 by the Mayorals, whose first confectionery and candy manufacturer was established in Puerto Rico to export to Venezuela.
At the time of the sale, the group had three companies: Chocolate La India, based in Catia, Caramelos Fiesta and Distribuidora Cadupaca, with 20 stores in Venezuela.
The integration of Chocolate La India in the Colombian multinational soon represented the end of one of the first chocolate factories installed in the country.
The Colombina group was not interested in its permanence and, on the contrary, decided to close it to keep the confectionery market that it had won in the country.
The first headquarters of the La India factory in Caño Amarillo, located in a building located on the main avenue of Caño Amarillo, currently houses a typography and is part of the El Calvario Tourism Hub Endogenous Development Nucleus. It is considered a real estate.
- This text was prepared with information from the books Latin American multinational companies, the case of direct Colombian investment in Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela, by Andrés Franco and Philippe De Lombaerde (year 2000); The Pioneer Industrialization in Venezuela: 1820-1936, by Gerardo Lucas, 1998 UCAB; and the book Geohistory of Sensibility in Venezuela. Volumes 1 and 2 by Pedro Cunill Grau. Polar Business Foundation