HOW WE MAKE CHOCOLATE?
WHAT IS CRAFT CHOCOLATE?
Good question! Our craft of making chocolate includes the entire process from raw cocoa beans to finished chocolate bars. First, we source our cacao from indigenous, Latin American farmers, visiting each cacao farmer's cooperative as frequently as possible, ordering in small quantities for sorting and roasting. After roasting (each type of cacao deserves different treatment, temperature, duration) we grind the cacao with organic panela (cane sugar) from Colombia into semi-finished liquor. Through the conching process, the liquor becomes lusciously smooth and the flavor tunes to the way we want it. Finally, after infusing various nutritious herbs, fungi and spices, we temper the chocolate into bars, disks and other confections.
Primo Botánica's mission is to make chocolate that provides reparation to the land we inhabit. We believe that empowering people to own their own land + means of production is integral to the repair of other problems such as violence and climate change. In the craft chocolate world there is a tendency to jump around from origin to origin without truly devoting efforts into improving any one community. In 2020, we are beginning to build a long term partnership with farmers at the RAYEN farmer's cooperative in Tapachula, Mexico. After traveling to many different cacao growing regions throughout Central + South America, the Rayen cooperative really stood out for us. The Rayen cooperative is unique in that the farmers who grow the cacao not only own their own land but also own the fermentation facility in which the cacao is fermented and dried. Complete ownership means when we buy beans, after the cost of importation, that money goes directly to paying the producers rather than various brokers and middlemen.
THE NAME + LOGO
With many ties to Spanish speaking cultures, the name "Primo Botánica" came intuitively to represent our desire to create a chocolate-based apothecary that has a lasting impact on the farmers + land we source from. Our logo is a thunderbird, representing the power, protection and strength that we'd like to yield to both the people that eat our products and to the producers + land that we source our ingredients from.
WHAT IS BOTANICAL CHOCOLATE?
We see chocolate as not only a sacred superfood but also as a delivery system for potent herbs, fungi and spices. Every one of ingredients is 100% plant based grown on farms that value biodiversity and don't spray any pesky herbicides or pesticides. Our bars and flavors are influenced by the indigenous plants, biomes and cultures of North, Central and South America. Our products are all 100% vegan and our packaging is compostable.
THE CHOCOLATE MAKERS
Primo Botanica Craft Chocolate is a collective of two cousins living on opposite coasts of the US.
Jay became a certified natural chef at Bauman College in Berkeley, California. As a chef consultant, Jay has an immense amount of knowledge in therapeutic cooking. Jay now lives in Costa Rica part time, providing free consulting and equipment to locals on making bean to bar chocolate on a small scale.
Oliver has a degree from Plattsburgh University in anthropology, with a focus on the indigenous diets and traditional methods of agriculture. After learning about the dark sides of Capitalism, colonialism and the cacao industry, Oliver knew he needed to do something different. Primo Botánica is a study into our relationship with the food we eat, the people that produce it and the land they live on. We are motivated to help use our skills and privilege to empower indigenous farmers to reclaim their land, build their soil and in the process, help us feed YOU some pretty damn incredible chocolate.
WE ARE CONSTANTLY EVOLVING COLLECTIVE AND ARE VERY EXCITED ABOUT OUR EVER REFINING MISSION (SEE BELOW)