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. 

Read more

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.

 

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

Celebrate summer with Raaka S'mores!

It’s officially summer in the Northern Hemisphere, and everyone is looking for ways to stay cool and fresh while enjoying the sunshine.   Since cacao has a melting point of around 95 F (36 C), and softens in the mid to upper 80’s, the summer heat presents some challenges to our daily nibbles. Why not compromise with the heat and enjoy the unique bliss of melting chocolate in the form of a S’more?

S’more’s are a uniquely American tradition, synonymous with summer campfires and weekend getaways. The S’more was discovered in 1927, when it first appeared in the publication of Tramping and Trailing with The Girl Scouts. The genius behind this idea, of melting rich chocolate with gooey marshmallows between the honeyed crusts of two graham crackers, remains unknown.

But we do know it sure tastes good with Raaka Chocolate. Read on for a recipe!

Read more