What is bean-to-bar chocolate?
For ChocoSol, bean-to-bar means that they make chocolate from scratch and are in control of each step of the chocolate making process, from building long-term relationships with the farmers they work with around the world, direct-purchase and direct-trade sourcing practices, to the chocolate making process itself. ChocoSol takes their raw cacao beans and roasts, winnows, and stone-grinds them into chocolate all in their production kitchen in Toronto, Ontario.
All of ChocoSol chocolates range between 65% to 100% cacao content, are low-sugar, and are free of dairy, soy, gluten, nuts, preservatives, fillers, and artificial flavours. They only use simple, whole-food ingredients to change the flavour and texture of their chocolate bars- ingredients like raw vanilla pods, coconut butter, and dried chilis.
ChocoSol cacao is organic and shade-grown, and sourced direct-trade from Indigenous communities in the Lacondon Jungle of Chiapas and the Oaxacan mountains of Southern Mexico. In recent years they have expanded their trade relationships with social and ecological projects in the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and Guatemala. Their horizontal trade relationships with the farmers go beyond the mere exchange of commodities and extends to reciprocity, ecological re-generation, and friendship.
The concept of ChocoSol was originally founded in 2004 in Oaxaca, Mexico, by Michael Sacco, and has been based in Toronto since 2006. The origin of their name has links to 3 languages: English, Spanish, and French. ‘Sol’ is from the Spanish word for ‘sun’ and refers to our first 1,000 kilograms of cacao that were roasted with solar power in Oaxaca. In French, ‘sol’ means soil, acknowledging that you must have the soil of the gods in order to have the food of the gods. In English ‘soul’ reminds us of the importance of conducting our work with a good mind and spirit.