Chocolate Entrepreneurs

Wales’ first bean to bar chocolatiers, Baravelli‘s, based in Conwy have made use of Arloesi Pontio Innovation’s fabLAB on various occassions in order to innovate within their business. Following inital engagement to solve a direct equipment problem there was a realisation of potential, resulting in new product and process development. Mark Baravelli has described API as a place that’s helping him turn “random thoughts into viable business opportunities”.


Re-purposing a disused piece of equipment without the knowledge and equipment to do so.


Approached API for assistance via the fabLAB. Introduced to the equipment available and engage in discussion of possible solutions.


Laser cut acrylic fixture to re-purpose disused equipment. Also the development of a process to create custom chocolate utilising 3D printing and vacum forming to create moulds. This is an ongoing relationship, with Mark Baravelli recently returning to prototype labeling options for a new liquid product.

Husband and wife team Mark and Emma Baravelli are Wales’ first bean to bar chocolatiers. They craft chocolate into various items ranging from traditional bars to show stopping centre pieces from their retail space in Conwy, North Wales. With over 40 prestigious food awards under their belt there‘s no wonder that in 2017 they were commissioned to craft and hand paint limited edition Easter Eggs designed by Camille Walala exclusively for Harrods, London. Baravelli’s Chocolatiers of Conwy’s first interaction with API was to design and manufacture a component to re-purpose an old machine for alternative use i.e a new chocolate panning machine. This brought a traditionally expensive machine and process within the reach of a small local company. This interaction with staff and equipment led Mark to imagine other ways he could innovate and add value to his product range. With the help available through FabLab Mark went on to produce a chocolate picture frame. A cheap plastic frame was used as the starting point. Staff helped him turn this into a chocolate mould by vacuum forming. Again as a result of being introduced to the facilities available within the FabLab Mark Baravelli along with API staff went on to develop a new digital process allowing the company to deliver a brand new service to customers, custom chocolates as you’ve never seen them before. 2D digital customer logos are able to be quickly and cost effectively turned into bespoke chocolates using 3D printing and vacuum forming. A master mould frame has been produced which accepts 3D printed inserts . Clients include Virgin Trains, where the custom chocolates were served on the first class service from Anglesey to London and iVendi where they were used as trade show gifts. A perfect illustration of how from initial interactions API can assist in the development of companies and their products. Most recently Mark has interacted with API’s fabLAB to prototype bottle labelling for a new cocoa based liquid product. Experimenting with laser engraving and vinyl cutting to create final prototype samples in order to approach local companies to mass manufacture. We expect API’s relationship with Baravellis to be ongoing as the combination of Mark’s creativitiy and the equipment available at fabLAB will be sure to produce many more innovations.

The initial contact between Baravelli’s and API was to re-purpose this old machine into a chocolate panning machine.

The results of a new process developed in the fabLAB to create custom chocolates.

Laser engraving glass bottles for branding a new cocoa based liquid product.