Ivory Coast might be a leading producer of cocoa, but ironically, chocolate made from cocoa beans is not the norm.
Dana Mroueh’s raw chocolate brand produced through her company MonChoco Artisan Chocolatier, located in the heart of Abidjan
by a team mainly composed of women, is made with the aid of a bicycle from cocoa beans exclusively sourced from West Africa, reflecting the exceptional taste of this precious terroir.
MonChoco sets the pace as a true pioneer in the manufacture of chocolate in Ivory Coast and in West Africa many thanks to its raw production. The chocolate, made only from organic cocoa and brown sugar, takes on the responsible and sustainable approach trying to reduce impact on the environment. For example, reducing our energy consumption by crushing the cocoa beans with a power bike, using recycled paper, reusing the shelve of the cocoa.
“We are artisanal chocolatiers, so our process is manual, from the cocoa pods to the final product of packaging the chocolate tablets,” she told Reuters. “One of our trademarks is that we do not roast the cocoa pods, we use raw chocolate. That enables the cocoa pods to retain its flavors and nutritional values. It’s richer in protein, it’s richer in anti-oxidants, and the taste is really different.”
“The bicycle grinder is an opportunity for us to practice our eco-friendly philosophy. We really want to have a minimal impact on the environment by using minimal electricity, and combine it with a short work out which also makes it a playful process,” Mroueh told Reuters.
Mroueh was inspired by her grandfather, an entrepreneur himself, so she launched into the business world upon completion of her university education, where she studied management and economy.
“The best part of being an entrepreneur is to know our work is benefiting not only the person who is eating the chocolate but also every single person along the value chain, from the farmer to the chocolatier,” she said.
“Also, I get great satisfaction seeing the team strongly espouse courage and persistence. My advice to other women looking to startup in business would be to keep in mind that perseverance and patience will be greatly needed.”
Dana Mroueh is a graduate from the University of Paris Descartes – Paris 5 and holds a Master’s degree in Management from the IAE Gustave Eiffel. She founded Mon Choco in 2016.