Our Story BEGINS WITH HEART
Deep in the mountains of southeastern British Columbia, a passionate woman is making and celebrating heart-opening nutritious and delicious chocolate surrounded by cedar trees, elk and white swans. Yup, white swans.
Beth Campbell is creating small-batch chocolate magic from her rural home in the Kootenays using superfoods, alternative sweeteners (such as coconut sugar) and mindfully-sourced and fairly-traded cacao. Oh and there’s definitely some serious love mixed in there too.
Beth was drawn into the world of small-batch artisan chocolate after getting frustrated about the lack of options on local store shelves. Although she always had a passion for cooking and baking, she had never made chocolate before. She threw caution to the wind, bought some molds and jumped right into what would become a life-changing endeavour.
She decided to combine her love of alchemy, medicinal ingredients and flavour combinations to bring you chocolate that’s real. Beth also found a way to accelerate the benefits of this magical superfood. She sees cacao as the ultimate delivery vehicle of medicinal substances into the body and she celebrates it.
Beth’s recipes are so unique , her creations so flavourful…that her chocolate is featured in stores across southeastern British Columbia.
Not only is she empowering people to make healthier chocolate choices at the till, Beth is determined to bring awareness to the issues involved in the chocolate industry — including slavery and inadequate working conditions for cacao farmers. Her goal is to use the abundance she has been blessed with to make a difference in the chocolate industry, and the farmers and consumers connected to it.
To produce delicious small-batch high-quality chocolate using heirloom beans, superfoods, and ethical alchemy with cacao sourced from cooperatives that value human well-being, better living conditions, and environmental sustainability.
Our chocolate is accessible, alluring, handcrafted, and affordable. Healthy ingredients, conscious business practices, and social justice are at the core of our values.
Viva Cacao is not only on a journey to inspire, we are on a journey to provide the consumer with chocolate that will do good and feel good in their bodies.
Because Viva Cacao is a small-batch chocolate producer, each bar is activated with love, life and a sense of social justice and conscious awareness. Not only does it taste delicious — it’s chocolate you can feel good about.
Beth looks at cacao as the ultimate delivery vehicle of medicinal substances into the body and she celebrates it.
Not only is Viva Cacao empowering people to make healthier chocolate choices at the till, we are determined to bring awareness to the issues involved in the chocolate industry.
Our SOURCING ETHICS
FEDECOVERA, our cacao producer, is made up of 42 partner-cooperatives, over 21 groups of small producers and 33,000 producing families. Their objective is to build the capacity of farmers and farmer organizations, build long-term partnerships with customers that share similar interests and values, and improve farmers’ competitiveness. FEDECOVERA has been doing this for more than 40 years, based in the city of Coban in Guatemala.
- Acting for human well-being
- Protecting and improving the environment and biodiversity
- Delivering customer satisfaction in order to build long-term relationships
- Integrity, fairness, independence and striving to always do the right thing
“Our Coban Guatemala cocoa beans come from small Mayan farmers pooling their cocoa beans together from the trees growing on the valleys leading to the very ancient town on the plateau above. The climate varies significantly from the valleys: warmer and more humid to the plateau where there is a drier sunnier climate — perfect for drying cocoa beans in the sun.
Coban was the center of the coffee growing region before one rediscovered they had another treasure: Heirloom cocoa varieties which have not been hybridized and replaced by varietals selected for their volume instead of flavours.
The excellent work done by the agronomist at the Mayan run-and-owned cooperative delivers a very round, warm, deep chocolatey flavor with just a hint of acidity. This flavour is powerful but mellow and lingers in your mouth long after you’ve melted the last piece of chocolate in your mouth. A lasting pleasant chocolatey memory, not tart or flat. Soft, round, like wet earth reminiscing of the deep soil at the bottom of the Guatemalan valleys.”
– Pierrick Chouard | Vintage Plantations Chocolate
OUR ALCHEMY PROCESS
The cacao liquor paste gets melted down and put in a granite stone grinder.
Additional ingredients like coconut milk and other ingredients the recipe calls for, such as superfoods, are added to the mix.
The pans are laid to rest and/or stored for later.
Any inclusions the recipe calls for — almonds, toasted coconut, raspberries, cacao nibs, etc — are added to the mix.
Once the moulds are set, they are flipped to release the bars and then each bar is wrapped in its Viva Cacao packaging.
Coconut sugar is added to the paste and will then be grinded for 24 to 48 hours, depending on the level of smoothness needed.
Once the chocolate has reached the right level of smoothness and feels good on the tongue, it is poured through a strainer into pans.
The chocolate gets tempered.
The chocolate is poured into moulds and filled to the desired weight. The moulds are shaken to get the air bubbles out and moved to the cooling rack to set.
Delivered to you, the consumer, to savour and enjoy!