Fall in love, with just one bite.

When a piece of chocolate melts on your tongue, a chain of chemical reactions begin. From your taste buds, through your veins, to the brain, and of course, the heart, chocolate creates a sense of elation that perhaps no other individual food can match. 

What separates a bar of chocolate from other highly celebrated and palatable foods is a harmonious trio of chemicals innate to the cacao bean: theobromine, phenylethylamine, and anandamide. 

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Our new factory in Red Hook is open!

The day has finally come; our new factory, at 64 Seabring St, Red Hook is open for business! While we’re still settling into the 3600 square foot space, in the past few weeks we’ve been able to launch two new bars and throw an incredible opening party with the help of neighborhood friends. 

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Chocolate Disparity

A staggering clip from a documentary produced by VPRO Metropolis TV has been circling the Internet this week. The clip shows a cacao farmer from the Ivory Coast tasting chocolate for the first time after many years of farming, highlighting the massive disparity between chocolate consumers and cacao farmers. “Cacao is a multibillion dollar industry, that divides the world between beggars and gluttons”, the narrator explains. He’s sadly on the mark in regards to the majority of mass-produced chocolate; the industry has historically been implicated in human rights violations, including unfair wages and the employment of child labor.  The doc specifically focused on cacao farmers along the Ivory Coast, from where many of the larger chocolate makers source their beans.

 

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Indigenous Chocolatiers: The Kuna People

Both Mayan and Aztec cultures revered cacao as a gift from the gods, consuming it ritualistically, attributing strength and vigor to its ingestion. Modern science has proven their observations to be correct, revealing cocoa’s stimulating properties and beneficial effects on brain and circulatory health. One of the most touted confirmations of cacao as a health food comes from a group of studies on the Kuna people, an indigenous culture of Central American Indians in Panama. Like the Mayans and the Aztecs, the Kuna have long been sipping on several different variations of a cacao based beverage, which they call Siagwa.

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Growing Ethically: A Look at Maya Mountain Cacao

We created Raaka to make chocolate that reflects the human element in every bar. Chocolate, a source of joy for many in the West, is often the product of great injustice throughout the developing world. The chocolate industry has historically exploited the two most crucial and meaningful foundations of its business: the farmers and the land.  In the past decade, several major chocolate producers have been linked to child labor and poor wages, while the monoculture model of the cacao farm has been responsible for rampant deforestation. 

Maya Mountain Cacao is helping to change the industry.

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