| Big question asked at markets: “how do you get the beans?” For the first several months of our operation, we’ve been purchasing beans in weights no greater than 70 kilos (about 150 lbs). While this seems like a lot, the standard shipment of cacao from point of origin to regional US hub is typically one entire cargo container or ~18 metric tons. I think what’s really being asked is: “how do you get cacao beans to be processed into chocolate directly from the source delivered to your door?” It’s complicated, but the internet is changing things.
| Sharing through email and social media, we can now communicate with cacao-growing folks who may not have a landline but have a mobile phone. Yellow-Seed.org (YS) is the site we’ve been using to purchase cacao, but it’s not truly direct trade since YS is the middleman. Still though, in our growth stage it allows us to to purchase smaller harvests from farms. YS “Ambassadors” are responsible for purchasing large shipments and distributing them to small producers. Currently we are working directly with these ambassadors to secure a consistent supply of the excelsior cacao we’ve been using.
| A “new way to ship.” Well, actually it’s not new at all, but that’s what makes it badass. In an age where “custom hand-painted signs” are re-popularizing, it was only a matter of time until the shipping industry went hipster.