What an amazing experience. 9,000 miles in 10 days through Latin and South America. We met with farmers, chocolatiers, logistics experts, fermentation specialist and a bunch of kindred spirits in our travels. We were able to take my twin teenage daughters on their first international trip. We learned 3 things that stood out 1) export/import expertise in each country is crucial 2) 70% of the flavor we call chocolate happens outside of the chocolatier's control unless you are a "farm to bar" chocolate company 3) Respect the rules.
We met with chocolatiers in each country and sharing chocolate bars is our business card. Amazing to see how many ways there are to make chocolate. Sitting for hours talking about beans, roasting, mixing, tempering and molding was so much fun.
Sharing chocolate with others and getting feedback was exhilarating. Our next trip is in a few months, and we aim to repeat this until our vision of 40 farmers from around the world is realized. That might take 10 years, but one thing I learned a long time ago - take a step (of faith), learn, adjust and repeat.
Rick, Peyton and Madison Boosey, on behalf of the Kyya Chocolate Team