While at the SCAA trade show recently, we sampled some exquisite chocolate from Theo Chocolate. While reading and translating news from Peru, I came across an article that talks about Theo Chocolate & their award winning chocolate made with Peruvian cocoa.
This year they won two more awards – Best New Product & Peoples Choice. What’s even more interesting is what I found out about the company…
US Chocolate Made with Peruvian Cocoa Wins Awards
via Chocolate estadounidense hecho con cacao peruano gana premio | Piura | Peru | El Comercio Peru. (Translated via Google translate, some authors corrections for clarity.)
Peruvian cacao (cocoa) is still well positioned in the world. For the second year, the exquisite chocolate of the American Company Theo Chocolate won the Best New Product AND People’s Choice contest in the Food Category. This chocolate cocoa used as the main input is produced by the Norandino cooperative, whose headquarters is located in Piura (Peru.)
The results were announced recently in Seattle (Washington, USA) at the Trade Fair for SCAA – Specialty Coffee Association of America. (See It’s Not Just for Breakfast Anymore, SCAA 2015 Specialty Coffee Event)
Denis Macray, representative of Theo Chocolate, dedicated this achievement also to the producers, mainly in northern Peru. The Norandino cooperative produces cocoa in various areas of Tumbes, Chulucanas (Piura) and Amazonas. The US executive noted the variety and originality of flavors like walnut and hazelnut with hints of malt, which are highly valued by the market.
Santiago Paz, manager of international marketing cooperative Norandino also welcomed this distinction internationally. “For several years, we have been positioning cocoa, and as a result are these awards. We believe that this will also encourage others to buy cocoa chocolate Norandino,” he said.
Paz said that all members of Norandino also export coffee and brown sugar (organic sugar.)
On Theo Chocolate:
via Our Story | Theo
Amazing, delicious, mind-bendingly wonderful chocolate. It’s pure joy in every bite and it comes from passion. But for us, it’s about more than chocolate. It’s about the land, the people, the dedication and the interconnected relationships that bind us all.
Dedicated to Ethically Sourced Cocoa
Theo Chocolate founder, Joe Whinney has worked tirelessly to promote fair trade practices that help the farmers who grow cacao to receive just prices and improve the quality of their produce. Since the early 1990’s Joe has worked to promote organic & sustainable practices through direct relationships with the cacao farmers.
In 2004, after relocating to Seattle, the first team was formed in what is today Theo Chocolate, and in 2006 their inaugural organic chocolate was produced and introduced to the world to much acclaim.
Today, the company has had tremendous success & growth, but continues to focus on sustainable practices at every step in the chocolate journey.
Bean to Bar
Theo is proud to be the first “Bean to Bar” chocolate factory in the US. Bean to Bar is what direct market cocoa buying is all about. The relationships that help cement quality and fairness lead to a more sustainable living for the growing families, and a more viable economic future for coming generations.
Why is this important? The future of chocolate is based in our young people today. With the advent of internet & smartphones, the newer generations now know more about the world at large & what is “out there.” Many are leaving the farms, not necessarily because they want to, but rather because farming does not provide a good living in the current “traditional” market model.
Direct market cocoa buying (and any commodity really) allows for a larger profit margin at the source. This in turn provides funds for replanting, and proper care (fertilizer etc) during the productive years of the trees while covering other living expenses & allowing for savings. Farming is a long term investment for these growers, and a direct market relationship can provide long term stability that most have never experienced before.
More than only the fair trade aspect is that these personal connections grant the ability to focus on quality at every step of the cocoa journey from the tree to your rich finished chocolate bar. Cocoa is sensitive to many things, and the best flavors can easily be lost if mishandled at any point in the trip from the rain forests to your table.
For the Theo Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI) helping Cocoa Farmers page click here.
Sampling the Goods
We stopped by the Theo Chocolate booth at SCAA and the flavors were delightful with a smooth, rich consistency that just makes one yearn for more…(we snuck by again later for more!)
Check out the Theo Chocolate website here.
Congratulations to Theo Chocolate for much deserved praise & recognition.
©2015 Ben Gangloff
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