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How Marou put Vietnam on the world's chocolate map

Asian expansion plans include cafes from Japan to Singapore

Marou's exquisite range of single-origin chocolate bars puts a fresh twist on the label "Made in Vietnam." (Courtesy of Marou)

HO CHI MINH CITY -- In the world of chocolate, something has changed in the last decade, as subtle as the cherry aftertaste of a fine truffle. In London cafes and Tokyo grocers, connoisseurs were persuaded to buy new bars from Vietnam, a communist country better known for coffee and rice exports.

And few have done as much to showcase the country's cacao bona fides as Marou. The chocolate maker has taken a journey befitting a Silicon Valley upstart, replete with quests by motorbike, home kitchen hacking, and international awards.

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