What happens when an advertising executive and a banker meet in Vietnam? They make chocolate of course!
The story of Marou Faiseur de Chocolat starts in 2010. Vincent Mourou has quit his advertising job to travel through Southeast Asia and ends up in Vietnam. Samuel Maruta is living in Vietnam with his wife and 2 kids, taking a break from his banking career. The two meet on a jungle camping trip and discover their shared love of chocolate as well as their desire to do something new, and the adventure into bean to bar chocolate begins.
At the same time, the chocolate world was changing. A revolution had started. The ingredients in mass produced chocolate were being questioned. Disruptors were starting to make chocolate in small batches from scratch, focusing on the flavour of the bean. Cacao beans and sugar. Bean to bar.
“…people started to neurotically care about ingredients and how they found their way to their plate. People had once cared about music like this. Food was becoming a larger part of our identity. Food makers were the new indy bands. We were dying to go on tour.” Vincent Mourou
There was cocoa growing in Vietnam, largely ignored, and it was pretty special. The discovery of these flavourful beans in Vietnam pushed the men into being the first artisan chocolate makers in that country, as well as among the few chocolate makers who travel to the farms and work directly with the cacao farmers. Self described “cocoa hunters” they have traveled to farms in six provinces searching for great cacao beans with which to make their single origin chocolate. Marou now works with, and relies on, a tight group of farmers who manage small plantations and produce outstanding cacao, who in turn, are paid a premium price for these quality beans.
Mourou describes the taste as “very fruity and bold, and a lot of character, power with finesse”.
The New York Times wrote an article on Marou in 2016 and sums up the quality of their chocolate. “Marou’s chocolate has a particular complexity and variability, because unlike most chocolate makers, they can create theirs from beans they select at the source. This means they have control of everything, from farm to bar.”
If you haven’t tried Marou chocolate yet, what are you waiting for?