Where once we were surrounded by cement blocks, we found ourselves surrounded by majestic forests. Where once there were traffic jams, now we sit on small boats journeying into the sunset on the magnificent Huallaga river.
With each passing day the Peruvian Amazon opened our eyes and senses. We connected with the Mother spirit, the energy that comes from the mountain, and discovered the knowledge kept in the trees, animals and plants of the area. With its sweet, soft voice, the cacao tree captivated us and it was in the amazing fruit that the mother shared her secret and introduced us to the highest quality chocolate.
We have listened carefully to the forest spirits and have created Tree to Bar chocolate. Using cacao from our own finca (farm) and working with other farmers, from harvesting to processing, we ensure the highest quality product that we want to share with you.
In Chazuta time passed and the local population had forgotten cacao. Rediscovering its cultivation has revived an important economic resource and has also rescued varieties of native cacao that were thought missing. Through our work reassessing the viability of the native cacao, we have strengthened our ties in the community and allowed small farmers to bet on cacao.
Together with our farmers, we aim to gain a Geographical Indication for Chazuta cacao grown with agroforestry practices by optimising the benefits of combining native trees with cacao plants.
The idea of creating a chocolate brand was our original motivation to escape the noisy metropolis and start a new life in contact with nature. Foremost was resetting our priorities and starting a new life in harmony and contact with nature. We sought to learn what we could from a natural environment and a people who have been here since ancient times.
Initially overwhelmed by the amount of wonders that the forest keeps inside, it was time in nature that tuned our senses so that we could clearly hear the “call of the wild” through the sweet, soft and aromatic voice of cacao.
THE LEGEND OF NINA
Along the banks of the majestic Huallaga river runs a girl. Always curious and playful, she could be found playing with Yacuruna, spirit of the waters, where together they bathed in spectacular lakes and jumped into waterfalls invigorated.
Behold, Nina, Amazonian princess, the possessor of fire.
One bright day while frolicking with a deer, she journeyed deep into the forest than she had ever ventured before. She found herself in the protective shade, underneath the tallest tree she had ever set eyes on. While she marveled at this sight, a jaguar silently approached, mesmerising her with its majestic being, Nina felt drawn to him.
Bewitched by the jaguars luminous eyes, Nina travelled to the furthest corners of the forest, where she remained for half her lifetime, gaining wisdom and discovering a world untouched by human footprints. Nina came to know each and every animal and spirit that dwelled in the jungle, but above all she formed a deep understanding and bond with the plants. Plants that revealed to her their power to heal, nourish and protect those who formed respectful relationships with them.
Nina anticipated that the core spirit of each plant would share its wisdom with her, allowing her to establish equilibrium and maintain harmony in the jungle.
One morning, while nibbling her favourite fruit that adorns the forest trees in the shade of the low hanging branches, the mother spirit of the tree appeared. The mother spirit expressed her desire to teach Nina the secrets of the sacred fruit, cacao. Nina was transformed; amazed by the delicacy of the flowers, revelled in the sweet tasting juice and enchanted by the seeds, which held the potential to become a rich, refined delicacy.
Nina spent her time learning about the benefits and the transformation of the seeds, extracting the mother spirits wisdom.
Nina dedicated her life to cacao, seeing firsthand the benefits that cacao bought, extracting wisdom from the mother spirit by the bond they shared. An undeniable truth was realised; Nina was no longer a curious little girl, she has become an Amazonian Princess, responsible for sharing and channeling the power of cacao embodied in Nina chocolates.