Côte d’Ivoire is renowned for the quality of its cocoa beans, but up until now, the world has not had the opportunity to widely celebrate those beans in the finest of chocolate forms. But that is rapidly changing as Ivorian artisan chocolatier Dana Mroueh and her company, MonChoco, are producing a very special raw chocolate brand and range of products that is exciting taste buds in the country.
LoA was delighted to learn more about this unique raw chocolate brand and its sustainable approach to brand building and production.
What does your company do?
We are an Artisan Chocolatier in Côte d'Ivoire. Our products are made from organic cocoa beans sourced from Côte d’Ivoire. We make raw chocolate to preserve the taste and the natural nutrient of cocoa beans. Our chocolate is very pure, it is made only from organic cocoa and brown sugar. Our approach is responsible and sustainable, trying to reduce our impact on the environment. For example, by reducing our energy consumption by crushing the cocoa beans with a power bike, using recycled paper, reusing the shelve of the cocoa... We truly want to enhance the Ivorian terroir, its culture and the forgotten farmers.
"The delicious raw chocolate, MonChoco, is prepared with care in our workshop located in the heart of Abidjan."
What inspired you to start your company?
I was inspired by my grandfather who is an outstanding entrepreneur.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
Mon Choco is different - it shakes up the taste of chocolate you are used to.
Tell us a little about your team
The team is mainly composed of women, dynamic and délicate at the same time.
It is long and meticulous work, especially to sort the beans one by one, to hand mould, and to hand wrap...
"Our products are made from cocoa beans exclusively from West Africa, reflecting the exceptional taste of this precious terroir."
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
I don't come from an entrepreneurial background myself. I have studied management and economy.
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
Our aspiration is to increase our exportation. Now we are getting more and more known in Côte d'Ivoire we would like to expand to Africa and the rest of the world.
"We are only a handful of chocolatiers in the world to manufacture our chocolate from A to Z and unique in West Africa for our raw confection. The absence of cooking of the cocoa beans retains at best its taste and nutritional properties."
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
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. Also, I get great satisfaction seeing the team strongly espouse courage and persistence.
What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
I would advise to keep in mind that perseverance and patience will be greatly needed.
Contact or follow MonChoco
Why LoA loves it….
When we first heard of MonChoco and saw a photograph of founder Dana Mroueh crushing the cocoa beans herself with a power bike, we were intrigued - and the wonderful story of MonChoco does not disappoint. We love the pure nature of the MonChoco products and their celebration of what makes Ivorian cocoa so special. But we are also impressed by the commitment to a sustainable approach to production and the ethos of the company and brand to enhancing the lives of those farmers who grow these world-class cocoa beans on this unique Ivorian terroir. This is a very special story and a very special chocolate brand. --- Melanie Hawken, founder and editor-in-chief of Lionesses of Africa