Ryan Cheney was introduced to chocolate making at a yoga school on a beautiful island in Thailand, where he was excited by the flavors of unroasted cocoa beans. Inspired by companies with social missions, he founded Raaka to explore low-temperature chocolate making and create a more equitable global society in which communities have opportunity to improve their quality of life.
After spending a year learning bean-to-bar chocolate making, Ryan teamed up with Nate Hodge, a musician and gastronomist with a lust for exotic flavors and groundbreaking processes. For several months, Nate and Ryan enjoyed the sound of micro-batch chocolate grinders churning around the clock as they developed a new approach to chocolate making.
OKO CaribeDominican Republic
OKO Caribe represents 165 producers working over 1000 hectares of organic land in the Duarte province. Their cacao is known for its notes of fresh and dried tropical fruits, and bright Caribbean acidity. We use it in the ultimate dairy-free milk chocolate alternative: our rich and creamy Coconut Milk bar.
Central Integral Agroecologica de Alto Beni, or CIAAB, is a small coop in Bolivia's Alto Beni province. CIAAB's cacao beans are known as Trinitario, a hybrid of Criollo and Forastero cacao beans. We use them in our 71% Dark with Sea Salt and Vanilla Rooibos bars.
Maya Mountain Cacao aggregates premium cacao from two hundred Q'eqchi' and Mopan Maya small-scale farmers in southern Belize, with a focus on sustainability. The traditional Mayan chocolate drink — unfermented, sun-dried, hand-ground cacao mixed with warm water — is still drunk daily instead of coffee. We start with their beans to make our Bourbon and Yacón bars.
The Akesson's Organic plantation grows a mixture of criollo, forestero, and trinitario cacao beans, alongside banana trees that help provide protective shade. We showcase the distinct flavors of Madagascar in our single-origin 75% dark bar.
“We're proud to make bars directly from beans by hand, showcasing the unique profiles of each region & growing season.”
fair trade commitment
We use organic ingredients whenever possible and fair-trade sugar certified by Fair Trade USA. We currently purchase cocoa beans that have been directly traded with Maya Mountain Cacao in Belize, Akesson's Organic Farm in Madagascar, OKO Caribe in the Dominican Republic, and CIAAB (a co-op in Bolivia, featured in our award-winning Bourbon bar). The cocoa farmers from whom we purchase cocoa beans receive at minimum $500 above market price per metric ton of cacao beans. At today’s cocoa prices, this is equivalent to a 20% raise.
Recycled paper: All our bars are wrapped in paper designed by our earth-conscious friend Elissa Barbieri at Loop. Loop’s paper is printed with soy inks on FSC-certified, 100% post consumer recycled, chlorine-free paper that was processed with sustainable wind-generated energy.
Cocoa husk reuse: All of our cocoa husk is donated to Edible Schoolyard NYC, an after-school gardening program at P.S. 216 in Brooklyn. They use our husk as mulch and fertilizer. We think it’s pretty cool that our waste can help them grow food.