Hello Cocoa Co-founder Charles Davidson flew to Uganda several weeks ago to pick up our first direct source of cocoa beans that will be turned into an amazing, yet limited edition single origin chocolate bar. This bar encompasses the core of Hello Cocoa's heart in adventure and sharing good things with one another. So we wanted to invite you into the story a bit.
"The road into the village wasn't nearly as bumpy and long as I remember, but trips are always shorter when you know where you're going.
Cosmos, the first cacao farmer I ever met, did not have any bean available at his farm, so Koja had to make other arrangements. 'Koja' means 'Uncle' in the local language, and it is the name we have attributed to our dear friend Anthony. I'm convinced he is one of the most kind and supportive people on the continent, as he made phone call after phone call to his friends in the Mayuge district until he found one farmer with one bag of bean left.
Apparently a regional harvest had happened only a few days prior and most of the bean had been bought up by wholesalers. But lucky us, one bag left.
When we got to the farm, my friend Isaac quickly noticed me struggling between multiple tasks: talking with everyone around, trying to film, take pictures, and talk about cocoa price all at the same time. He grabbed both cameras and started filming for me.
After years of working in the Middle East, I was arming myself for a good haggle with the manager. I knew the normal price for bean and did not want to be taken advantage of because of my foreign status, something I've experienced multiple times in the past.
They told me the price, and I thought, 'too much!' So I asked them, 'That much per pound?' And he responded, 'Oh, no sir. Per kilo.'
'Indeed,' I spoke sheepishly, beginning to do the math in my head of just how much I was able to pay compared to bean in the states that goes through 3-5 middlemen... 'I'll take it!'"
Stay tuned for part two of the Journey to Mayuge coming up next week!
The last bag of bean in Mayuge was enough to make 300 bars...
When you Pre-Order the bar, please join us for the Oli Otya Release Party we'll have to share more stories and do flavor profiling with some wine on Sunday, May 10, 2015, 2-5pm. It's a chocolate experience like you've never had, and we'd be delighted for you to be there!