Cacao South - Limón, Costa Rica
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ORIGIN TYPE: Other what’s this?, Established 2013
Limón native Daniel South has returned to his family's roots in cacao, creating a family-run cacao fermentary, micro batch chocolate production and bakery, and farm tour business. For over 10 years, Daniel has managed baking production at a popular Caribbean cafe, Bread & Chocolate, in the village of Puerto Viejo. The founders, Dan & Jael Rattigan, have since relocated to North Carolina where they operate French Broad Chocolates. Their sustained friendship has induced Daniel to cure small batches of cacao on his own farm, some of which is processed and sold locally, and some is exported to French Broad Chocolates. The Rattigans use Daniel's cacao and want to share it with other chocolate makers, so that Daniel, his sister, his nephew and their network of cacaoteros may thrive in their artisan production.
VARIETALS: Blend of amelonado, trinitarios, and modern CATIE selections
PRODUCTION CAPACITY: 2-5 metric tons/year
OTHER CROPS: -
PROJECTED PRODUCTION CAPACITY NEXT YEAR: 5-10 metric tons/year
Daniel South's beautiful 2 hectare hilltop farm features a fermentary, a clonal garden and nursery, a rustic bakery and low tech cacao processing, and modest accommodations for hosting tour groups. His vision includes growth of his varied operation to achieve sustainable business for himself, his family, neighbors (who work in curing and maintenance of the cacao farm), and the cacaoteros who sell him wet cacao for his centralized ferment.
Needs to increase access to international fine flavor market (sales volume). As the Atlantic zone of Costa Rica brings unpredictable rainfall, improved supplemental drying will be pursued as resources permit. Cacao South needs to invest in bringing electric service to the farm, again requiring additional capital investment. As an origin generally, Costa Rica is becoming recognized for fine flavor potential, but Daniel's is one of only a few commercially available exemplars of this potential. Wider usage in bean to bar chocolate will bootstrap the reputation, well-deserving of accolades.
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