The MUCHOMAS Story (July 23, 2015)
When a cacao tree is planted, it takes several years to bear fruit. MUCHOMAS Chocolate launched in October 2014, but the seeds of this venture were planted years before.
Nicaragua is a special place for us and for cacao. We have family there. We have friends there. One of us even got married there!
We aren't chocolatiers by training, but the seeds of our cacao adventures in Nicaragua have blossomed into an amazing company- MUCHOMAS Chocolate!
Why did we start a chocolate company if we didn’t know much about chocolate? Good question and the answer is simple: We enjoy learning new things and meeting new people. As you will see if you follow along, chocolate is fascinating and the people we met are what keeps us excited about diving deeper and deeper in the world of chocolate.
We hope you too will find the people you meet are as important as the food that you eat!
Chapter 1 – Nicaraguan Cacao
The first and most important person we met on our adventures was our new friend Giff. Giff provides us with heirloom cacao beans from the mountains of Nicaragua, and guides us through the world of cacao growing and the intricate processes of turning the seeds of a fruit into glorious chocolate bars!
Our original MUCHOMAS Chocolate bars are made with Giff’s beans that are harvested and processed near Matagalpa, Nicaragua before being driven over the border to a factory in Honduras for further processing. It’s great chocolate made by great people.
Chapter 2 – Chocolate: The Reference Standard
Recently, we made another new chocolate friend. In January 2015, Georg Bernardini contacted us on Facebook asking to send samples of our chocolate to Germany for a project he was working on. Initially unsure what to make of the seemingly unusual request, (now we know that people often ask for chocolate!) we spoke to Giff and learned of Georg’s impressive history as a chocolate visionary, maker, educator, and talented guy!
But just sending samples to Germany and leaving it at that is not the MUCHOMAS style! In April 2015, we packed our bags and set out on a European chocolate adventure. Georg was gracious enough to meet with us for four hours! A nice lunch, a nice dog walk, and a nice day on the Rhine later and we knew we wanted to help Georg distribute his book in the US. And so MUCHOMAS was in the book distribution business! Visit our sister site for more info!
Chapter 3 - Meet the Makers
Whether it’s a bar, a bon-bon, a truffle, or a kiss, the chocolate consumed by most of us is made in large factories and sold to confectioners. In the world of craft chocolate, however, artisans make their own chocolate in small batches, often from bean-to-bar.
To learn more, we traveled to Seattle's Northwest Chocolate Festival to meet the makers of craft chocolate. With Georg’s book to guide us, we drove our chocolate chariot from Philadelphia to Seattle stopping along the way to see some of America's best artisan chocolate makers in action. In Seattle, we enjoyed the company (and chocolate) of the world's most interesting chocolate makers.
Making more and more new friends and finding unique and unforgettable tastes we continued down the West coast all the way to San Diego. Back on the East Coast, we can now say we have gotten a taste for the burgeoning world of craft chocolate!
Chapter 4 . . .