by Robert Bowden

The Heirloom Cacao Preservation Fund is a non-profit joint venture founded from a partnership between the USDA and Fine Chocolate Industry Association. Its on a mission to “identify and preserve fine flavor (“heirloom”) cacao varieties while conserving biological diversity and empowering farming communities”. Through this effort to date we have selected 16 designees that have done exemplary work in the arena of fine flavor, ethical sourcing and sustainability. In HCP SALUTES! We hope to bring awareness to the great companies that have been recognized including how you may get your hands on some of these amazing products.

In this edition of HCP Salutes we would like to recognize Coopertiva Nueva Esperanza and Mindo Chocolate. The team of Barbara Wilson and Jose Meza work tirelessly to bring you the delicate Nacional cacao produced in Puerto Quito, Ecuador. Located in the beautiful Cloud Forest of the Andes Mountains Cooperativa Nueva Esperanza is the 5th entity to have their cacao beans awarded HEIRLOOM designation by the HCP. Working with the Co-op, Mindo Chocolate is located in Dexter, Michigan and Mindo, Ecuador they may span 2 continents but feel just like the little store next door. Committed to their growers, workers and clients Mindo strives to bring you an amazing chocolate experience, every time.

Whats New?

Mindo Chocolates is always looking to engage, entertain and enlighten chocolate fans. In 2020 They will host an week long chocolate making course in Mindo, Ecuador where attendees spend a day at the cacao farm then learn hands on how to craft fine flavored chocolate right at the source.  If a week abroad isn’t your forte the team at their Michigan base will gladly schedule a tour and tasting in Dexter. For more information check out Tours and Tastings on the Mindo Chocolate homepage.

Where to find?

To get your hands on the sought after chocolate made from Nueva Esperanza’s Nacional, Mindo Chocolates can be purchased directly from the Mindo website or at these locations throughout Michigan.

Stay tuned for the next HCP SALUTES! as we continue to highlight some of the craft chocolate industries finest.