September 27, 2016
Welcome to Cocoaro Craft Chocolate.
As the “about” section notes, Cocoaro is pronounced “ko-ko-row” and means heart, spirit or emotions in Japanese. The character that is our logo is the Japanese character for “kokoro.” Cocoaro is in many ways, my spirit personified and hopefully will also reflect the good spirit that can be in chocolate.
Developing a craft chocolate business was not a direction that I had expected, but as a multi-potentialite, I should no longer be surprised wherever I end up. For many years (I daresay over a decade), I have been making chocolate based gifts for Christmas and when I made treats for a fundraiser a couple of people suggested that I could sell them. My reaction was that such a thing would be “cheating”. In my mind, I couldn’t sell something that was at its core made by someone else. But then I began to wonder about the process of making the chocolate…
And so began this journey. I learned that what I had previously been doing is what a chocolatier does. It is a craft unto itself, but is more about making delicious, delightful and beautiful confections from chocolate. What I also learned is that I had no idea about the conditions in which cacao was grown and harvested. Anyone who knows me would probably say that I am a fairly ethical person who takes a clear stance on social justice (or at least I hope they would!) and yet never really questioned where my chocolate came from. I simply consumed it for its delicious glory. As I learned about chocolate making, though, I learned about human trafficking and child slavery in the Ivory Coast, about the poverty of many cacao farmers, about the development of cacao strains (like any other food) that were developed to increase yield rather than flavour.
I also learned that I could try to start making chocolate with a champion juicer (props to Chocolate Alchemy for that one). However, instead of staying within the confines of my previous chocolate endeavours, the more I learned, the more obsessed I became and I was convinced that we needed craft chocolate in the Cariboo. Well, heck, we need it everywhere! So I have moved past the Champion and developed a business. Right now, though, I am still very much at the start of my journey and hope that I will increase the good spirit of chocolate with every bar. And you, dear reader, are invited to join me on this journey.