REPUBLICA DEL CACAO * Visit República del Cacao´s website by clicking on the logo How to transform a “cocoa country” into a “chocolate country” Between 1880 and 1920, the cocoa boom years, Ecuador was able to produce between 50% and 75% of the world´s output of fine or flavor (aromatic) cocoa. Ecuador´s Fine or Flavor Cocoa, or Golden Pod as it became known, acquired its worldwide prestige thanks to its exceptional attributes of taste and scent. However, this agricultural boom was not accompanied by the development of a chocolate industry in our country. After several decades of muted demand, cocoa today has recovered its rightful place in the world due to increased chocolate consumption. This time, Ecuador not only aims to once again be the leading producer of fine or flavor cocoa, but it also desires to transform itself from a cocoa country to a chocolate country. Nevertheless, there is a problem that must be tackled if we are to achieve this goal. The problem is that fine or flavor cocoa is currently an endangered crop because it is being overwhelmed by lower quality varieties. República del Cacao is aware of this menace and, consequently, above and beyond its endeavor to produce the best chocolate using only Fine or Flavor Cocoa, the company has decided that its mission is “to preserve Fine or Flavor Cocoa at its point of origin”. From this perspective, rather than just another chocolate brand, República del Cacao is a great community, a huge number of people working together on this grand mission. This community seeks to assist all players, from the cocoa farmer to the consumer, including chocolate entrepreneurs, chefs and the most distinguished international chocolatiers. One of the strategies developed to achieve República del Cacao´s mission is to provide support to entrepreneurs who use Fine or Flavor Cocoa as their main ingredient through the Entrepreneur´s Corner. This assistance includes technical and marketing advice plus shelf space for their products in República del Cacao´s boutique retail stores. In the Entrepreneur´s Corner you can find anything from handicraft candles to alfajores bathed in chocolate. All of these products share two indispensable traits: they are made with ecuadorean Fine or Flavor Cocoa and they meet high quality standards. Another way to preserve our Fine or Flavor Cocoa at its point of origin is to communicate with the entire world and to try to get all consumers of quality chocolate to fall in love with it. That´s the reason why República del Cacao created the Cocoa Workshop, a window for new culinary talent, directed by two recognized chefs from Quito, Henry Richardson and Santiago Cueva. With their leadership, our Fine or Flavor Cocoa is lifted to the highest level. Santiago Cueva believes that, in order to transform Ecuador into a “chocolate country”, a research and development program aimed at fine chocolate is necessary. The goal is to blend traditional ecuadorean flavors in a unique way, in the República del Cacao fashion, so as to offer new experiences to quality chocolate lovers all over the world. In the project´s initial phase, led by Santiago Cueva, the winners of the first class at the Bakery, Pastry and Chocolate program at UDLA University stimulated their creativity to prepare new types of chocolates and truffles, applying the best European practices. Jorge Guadalupe and Daniel Durán were inspired by traditional beverages from both the highlands and the coastal plains of Ecuador. The outcome is a series of daring and sophisticated new blends, all of them truly exquisite. República del Cacao is collaborating with new groups of Chefs and culinary students who wish to expand the frontiers of chocolate made from Fine or Flavor Cocoa, applying their culinary knowledge plus their personal passion and creativity. However, above all else, is República del Cacao´s commitment to preserve Ecuador´s Fine or Flavor Cocoa. The Cocoa Workshop is a project that every day involves more Chefs who surprise us with their new and fantastic recipes. Our new República del Cacao Chocolate Boutique located in the SCALA SHOPPING CENTER is the place to delight with the delicacies prepared in the Cocoa Workshop. Besides the large variety of chocolate bars and chocolate coverings, this boutique is where lovers of quality chocolate can enjoy the creations prepared in the Cocoa Workshop, alongside a unique selection of hot and cold chocolate drinks. This “chocolate café” at the SCALA SHOPPING CENTER is an environment designed for people who seek a special place to experience fine chocolates and outstanding desserts, together with friends and family. The décor is rustic but contemporary, with a dash of “vintage”, all of which make República del Cacao´s Chocolate Boutique the ideal spot for unforgettable moments. We expect to see you at our new República del Cacao Chocolate Boutique in the Scala Shopping Center. The tastes and scents of the desserts and chocolates of the Cocoa Workshop will carry you to the countryside where the Fine or Flavor Cocoa grows. Also, you will feel the satisfaction derived from being part of a very special community, this grouping of many persons who are consciously preserving a treasure: Fine or Flavor Cocoa at its point of origin.