Who we are
We're a local, small-scale chocolate company in Roatan, Honduras, founded in 2010. Our primary and simple mission is to create the finest chocolate in Central America while also giving back to the local indigenous communities and protect the rainforest where our cacao comes from. To us, chocolate is not only a healthy and important product but our medium to create a positive social and environmental impact in Honduras. At The Roatan Chocolate Factory, we strive to make the highest quality, freshest, and most natural chocolate.
Where our cacao comes from
Chocolate comes from a fruit called cacao. Around 99.9% of the world's cacao tree production is grown on plantations. The rest, .01% of world production, features very rare wild-grown cacao. Our fine Honduran cacao comes from the mainland of Honduras, specifically Wampusirpi, a location immediately adjacent to The Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve in La Mosquitia, the most important rainforest area and deep jungle of Honduras where the highest quality cacao is found. The Biosphere is a very important area not only to Honduras, but to the world; it has been a world heritage site and biosphere reserve since 1982. In 2011, UNESCO placed the reserve on the List of World Heritage. Our cacao is both environmentally and socially sustainable.
So, just how good is our cacao?
In a few words: Award Winning! On October 29, a panel of judges at the 2015 Salon Du Chocolat in Paris recognized Honduran cacao as the best in Central America and the Caribbean. The global cacao experts, including master chocolatiers from around the world and tasters from the leading chocolate and cacao producers, came together for the International Cacoa Awards to select and honor Cacoa of Excellence!
We invite you to share in our passion for fine chocolate and take home a true taste of Roatan and Honduras to your friends and family at home!
Beautiful Acrylic on Canvas of The Roatan Chocolate Factory by Canadian artist Mariane LeBlanc
Everybody loves chocolate. Come discover locally handmade chocolate at the Roatan Chocolate Factory in West End. All chocolate is made from 100% organic Honduran cacao beans.
Discovering the tasty secret of cacao...
Most studies agree that the Maya were the first people to discover the secret of cacao. They grew it in their own backyards, and harvested, fermented, roated, and ground the seeds into a paste, from which they prepared a frothy, bitter drink.
290 AD - 900 AD Mesoamerica
The Maya covered the Central American territories currently known as southern Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and a part of El Salvador. They traded with each other over this immense area.
The Maya grew cacao in the backyards and drank it spicy
Cacao trees were naturally found in the tropical rainforests of the Maya homeland. No one can tell how they discovered the tasty secret of cacao, but the Maya valued chocolate so much that they gathered cacao seeds from the rainforest to grow cacao in their own household gardens.
Cacao was part of daily Maya life
In Maya society, everyone, regardless of status, could enjoy a chocolate drink. The wealthy drank their chocolate from elaborate vessels decorated by specially trained artists. Remarkably, it was the favorite drink of Maya kings and priests. Cacao pods were also used by priests to offer blood, one of the most sacred offerings. Maya couple also drank chocolate as part of their betrothal and marriage ceremonies.
A Maya God grinding cacao
1. Fermenting the seeds (found inside cacao pods)
2. Drying the seeds
3. Roasting the seeds
4. Removing the shells from the inner beans (nibs)
5. Grinding the nibs
Of course, they had their own techniques, such as for grinding: they used a "mano" (a cylindrical stone) to grind the nibs against a "metate" (a large rectangular stone mortar).
The Maya drank chocolate as a frothy, hot and bitter drink, according to the following 2,000-year old recipe:
1. Mix the cacao paste with water.
2. Add spices such as chili peppers and cornmeal.
3. Pour the concoction back and forth from cup to pot until it develops a thick foam on top.
4. Sweeten with honey or flower nectar.
Left: Illustration on clay of grinding cacao with a mano on a metate // Right: A mano and a metate