This is a love story.
How two people met by chance in 2012 while traveling in the Peruvian Andes and knew instantly they were meant for each other. And how these two people together found their passion for cacao.
In 2014 Maxime Simard and Elfi Maldonado took a trip to northern Peru and visited a cacao plantation for the the first time. It was in Alto El Sol that the magic happened. Maxime and Elfi met cocoa farmers there who were so proud and passionate about their cacao, they were immediately swept up into the world of cacao. Their curiosity was piqued.
The pair knew nothing about bean to bar chocolate, but their research led them to the small world of artisan chocolate makers. They were surprised and amazed by the flavours and the differences in the chocolate depending on the bean’s origin and they wanted in!
Elfi, who is from Peru, learned that Peru is known for the quality and variety of beans grown there, not the quantity of cacao grown there, and began the search for various unique beans. Equipment was bought, beans arrived and in 2016, the production began.
Wanting to get some feedback on their bars, they submitted bars to the Academy of Chocolate in 2017. The Academy judges chocolate based on aroma, flavour and complexity and awards bars Bronze, Silver or Gold based on a long list of criteria. Elfi and Maxime knew they were on to something great when the 3 bars they submitted each won an award, 2 gold and 1 silver! They have since gone on to earn many more awards and in 2018 they won the very prestigious Golden Bean Award for not just 1 bar, but 2 bars! Chuncho 70% and Morropon 70% were crowned that year and in 2020 another Golden Bean Award was presented to Qantu’s Chaska 70% bar.
Maxime and Elfi continue with their commitment to Peru by making their bars only with Peruvian cacao and the maintaining a direct trade model with cacao farmers of Peru, paying them up to 4 times more than they would receive through fair trade deals. And naming their enterprise Qantu, they pay respect to the national flower of Peru and Bolivia and its symbol of unity and hospitality.
This is the Qantu bean to bar chocolate that JoJo CoCo has in stock right now!