Experiencing República del Cacao: It was everything I didn't know I needed

I have to say this trip was a once in a lifetime experience. It has been so beneficial not only to me, but to my team in order to be able to give our customers as much information about the product they are consuming as possible. The wealth of information and passion that all of the  purveyors, farmers, workers, owners, and guides expressed about the entire chocolate process was contagious, and I'm so grateful to be able to share that message back at home.

Not knowing what to expect, I was surprised how connected I felt to the whole República del Cacao team, and Ecuador in general. I feel like I left a piece of my heart there, which I can't say is something that happens often. This trip is a must for anyone who is passionate about quality, equality, and craftsmanship. The República del Cacao team has created such a thoughtful, delicious, and sustainable product, it is hard not to be proud to be able to showcase what chocolate can be. 


I found República del Cacao after many tastings of other brands, that always seemed to fall short of what I was looking for- a creamy milk chocolate, and a not-too-dark dark chocolate- that was just right. The right mouthfeel, flavor, and balance is very hard to find in chocolate, but once I tasted República del Cacao, I knew this was the chocolate I wanted to use in our chocolate bars. Our customers rave about both the Perú 38% milk chocolate, and the Ecuador 65% dark chocolate, and I couldn't agree more! 

I don't think I've ever done so much in such a short amount of time, like we did on the Ecuador trip, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Every aspect was so carefully curated, to show us as much as possible, and we really had the best time. From the cacao plantations and the collection center to the chocolate factory, and the Turucucho cowmmunity, we experienced first hand what it takes to produce a quality, consistent product.  

The knowledge I gained on this trip allows me to better explain our craft, and care we put into creating our products. The photos I took, allow my team and the company to feel like they came to Ecuador with me, and can share what I've learned with our customers, which is really invaluable. Knowledge is power, and I find myself reflecting on this trip constantly, so thank you for burning that flame a little brighter. It was everything I didn't know I needed, and I feel very blessed for that. 

Thank you República del Cacao for the experience of a lifetime. 

Lianne Whalen - Executive Chef at Cultivate