There’s so much to say about ChocoSol, I don’t know where to start!
I first met Michael Sacco, the founder of ChocoSol, at a presentation hosted by the Embassy of Peru in Ottawa back in 2017. After the presentation we had a chance to talk and Michael kindly gave me a few of his bars to sample. They have been on our store shelves ever since. And it’s not just because the bars are amazing. It’s also because we love Michael’s passion and respect his commitment to cacao.
ChocoSol bars are unlike most of the other bean to bar chocolate in North America. And so is the business model.
ChocoSol’s story starts in 2004 in Oaxaca, Mexico when and where Michael founded the company. In 2006, the business moved to Toronto while maintaining close relationships with the cacao farmers he partnered with, in Chiapas and Oaxaca, Mexico. Michael established a direct trade, horizontal approach with his farmer partners that involves more than just buying cacao beans from them. Together they have worked on cacao fermentation experiments, forest garden restoration and cacao tree planting.
Michael’s bar are telling the story of cacao. They are stone ground using volcanic stone wheels rather than industrial steel, giving the chocolate a more rustic texture and taste. This method allows for many of the nutrients in cacao to remain in the bar. The texture and taste are amazing in these bars. The bar itself is thick, a little gritty and what I like to call “chewable” chocolate. I love the good sized squares, the perfect helping size - that once chewed is an explosion of flavour!
The bars are wrapped in 100% omnidegradable packaging with a drawing of a skull with features drawn with bicycle chains. Why? Because bicycles are an important part of ChocoSol’s way of working. They are used in the shop to produce power, and are used to deliver orders throughout the Toronto area!
Michael wants us to know more about cacao. The history, the traditions, the beauty of it.
The messaging on the packages pretty much sums up what ChocoSol is all about. “Cacao is the Food of the Gods.” Michael is clear. This is food, not candy. “Stone ground dark chocolate is: a nourishing & refreshing tradition, thousands of years in the making. Used as sacred incense, delicious spice or as a gift currency, the beauty, power & versatility of cacao & chocolate are undeniable.” Enough said.