HCP Heirloom Cacao 5

Nacional cacao beans at origin Cooperativa Nueva Esperanza,
Puerto Quito, Ecuador

Provided by Barbara Wilson & Jose Meza, Mindo Chocolate Makers

Heirloom Cacao

 

Back in 2007, Jose Meza and Barbara Wilson retired from the auto repair shop that they had owned for many years in Ann Arbor. A native to Riobamba, Ecuador, Jose hadn’t been back to his home country in 41 years. The two decided to spend time in Ecuador, where they quickly fell in love with the pleasant climate and beautiful landscape. In 2008, they bought a plot of land in Mindo, a small town nestled in the cloud forest of the Andes Mountains. Today, the company spans two countries, two continents, over 3,000 miles, and a community they believe includes anyone and everyone who comes into contact with their raw ingredients and finished products. No matter how big they grow, they’ll always have a small business mentality that relies on their growers, their employees, and their customers to create the most delicious chocolate experience possible. They use only the Nacional variety of cocoa beans– known not only for its complex flavor profile but its cohabitation with other plants and trees that promote habitats for midge pollinators, birds, and other animals.

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Retailers

Mindo Chocolate Makers uses the Nacional beans designated Heirloom by the HCP from a cooperative of organic farmers in Ecuador about 30 miles outside of Mindo.

Tasting Panel Notes

The International Tasting Panel had high praise for the beans’ processing and found the chocolate made from them had rich and complex, but balanced caramel and nutty notes, followed by complex fruit and astringent notes with a long-lasting, velvety chocolate finish.

USDA Genetic Profile

Heirloom cacao genetics

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