HEY, HOLA, HELLO!
We are Elisa and JuanRa, founders of VAICACAO ®, where we take natural, single-farm cacao and create minimally-processed cacao nibs, “holistic” drinking cacao (Ceremonial Cacao), and delicious craft chocolate bars!
We met in El Salvador (Central America) in 2012 when Elisa, who is from Italy, was working for UN Women. JuanRa is from an entrepreneurial family in El Salvador, and after studying in the US he went home and got involved with his father's farm as they diversified from coffee to cacao. JuanRa loved being in nature, planting, and seeing growth. Elisa said let's make it a business, and in 2016 we did!
We didn't choose cacao, cacao chose us =)
The two of us handle every step of production at our little chocolate factory by the beach in Italy. We are located in the town of Olbia, Sardinia, the Italian island in the Mediterranean Sea which is home of the Costa Smeralda.
We are the only bean-to-bar chocolate makers in Sardinia, and we are proud to use ethically sourced cacao so that our products give you traceability, authenticity, and flavor!
DISCOVER OUR SUSTAINABLE AND ETHICAL PROJECT, IN CLOSE CONTACT WITH EL SALVADOR AND MESOAMERICA
The idea was born in San Salvador, where we met and where we lived together for five years. JuanRa belongs to a family of entrepreneurs, owners of Finca Cuyancùa for over a hundred years, where cocoa, spices and other agricultural products are grown, using only organic and sustainable cultivation techniques.
Our VAICACAO brand was born starting from a simple concept: to exploit the numerous medicinal properties of cocoa to create simple, not very processed, ethical, traceable, sustainable productsili and processed on a small scale. We believe that we can help build a better world and overcome the trade models that unfortunately marked the previous century and this too especially with regard to cocoa, treated as a commodity and not as a food specialty.
We want to break the classic trading methods that have only profit in countries with stronger economies as their only interest, leaving behind those who produce this extraordinary tropical fruit. To do this, however, we need to help people understand this world. Have you ever wondered why the cocoa you find at the supermarket is so cheap? But have you also wondered if it was right?
SHORT LIST OF INGREDIENTS
Simplicity is truly our best quality, along with fact that we are the first Italian-Salvadoran cocoa short chain, with a 2.0 family project. which aims to improve current agricultural processes, to make room for new and advanced techniques thanks to the use of technology.
It all started on the JuanRa family plantation - Finca Cuyancùa - El Salvador.
Our project has among the objectives to create inputs positive, starting from those who deal with cocoa plantations not only from El Salvador but also from all over Central America, allowing traceability, better communication, adequate modern post-harvest systems, high quality cocoa and transmission of prices above those of market.
Once the cocoa has been imported from El Salvador from the plantations, we proceed with the transformation of the cocoa beans and transform them into healthy “cacao nibs”, “ceremonial cacao” and “chocolate bean to bar”.
HAND CRAFTED WITH LOVE IN SARDINIA
The processing takes place in Olbia, making us at the moment the only cocoa roaster that transforms directly from the cocoa bean in Sardinia.
We have adopted artisanal techniques craftsmanshipi, like the stone grinding cacao beans, where we are able to make each production batch unique, highlighting the natural aromatic notes of each cocoa.
SPECIALTY COCOA and MESO-AMERICAN ORIGINS
Cacao also deserves its place and is to be compared to wine: each harvest, origin, variety, post-harvest processes, cause the flavor to change, creating a world of different aromas.
Our products have a strong character Millennial, and are for the most part without the use of added sugars, thus promoting an excellent cocoa, rich in benefits and properties for our health.
Our chocolate line has a very short ingredient list. There is talk of two at most three ingredients, of which the third is an ingredient from the Sardinian territory or a functional ingredient.
We don't add cocoa butter, cocoa powder, soy lecithin or artificial flavors. For their creation we use only unrefined sugars certified organic. Industrialization in this sector has forced people to know only the standardization of flavors, and not to understand, appreciate and distinguish the quality of cocoa and good chocolate.
Artisan realities like ours ensure that better communication channels are created between those who produce and those who consume, that new flavors are rediscovered, that there is a better distribution of profits along the entire supply chain, that there is greater attention to issues of environmental sustainability , avoiding unfair commercial practices adopted by the large confectionery industries, practices that often involve inhumane working conditions, poor cocoa quality and considerable environmental damage.
SUSTAINABILITY & ZERO WASTE ORIENTATION
Our organization is oriented to zero waste in production processes, breaking the conventional business models. We pay close attention to the issue of packaging and packaging, in order to generate less environmental impact and we are always looking for new eco-friendly solutions, even better than the current ones, to offer increasingly sustainable products.
Furthermore, waste is always separated and dutifully recycled. For example, our grandfather's vineyard is used as a natural fertilizer for the vegetable garden in the scraps of cocoa peels.