Ara Chocolat Paris
The couple Andrés and Sabrina come from Venezuela and have both worked in Europe, where their paths crossed at some point. They settled in Paris and founded the small chocolaterie right in the center of Paris on Rue de Dunkerque. Andrés, the chocolatier, is a trained chef and turned his love of cocoa, which he found in abundance in his homeland, into a profession. After several stints in top restaurants in Caracas and London, he learned how to make chocolate and fulfilled his dream of owning his own chocolaterie.
He is a Bean-To-Bar manufacturer and sources the cocoa beans directly from cocoa farmers or cooperatives in Central and South America. At the same time, the cocoa itself is very important to him. More and more old, single-varietal or barely crossbred cacao varieties are being discovered that have particularly many interesting aromas and are therefore highly sought after among connoisseurs. However, these plants are very sensitive and low-yielding, which makes them not very interesting economically. Only real lovers of good chocolate appreciate these varieties and are willing to pay more for them. Andrés knows his cacao farmers and supports them by not only paying more for the cacao, but also helping to preserve these rare plants.
Protecting nature is important
Some varieties are part of the heirloom cacaos and are particularly worthy of protection because they offer other benefits in addition to excellent flavors. Cacao is mostly grown by small farmers and contributes to a large part of their income. In addition, the forest plant grows under the protective canopy of other plants, helping to preserve ecosystems that are still intact, including the protection of native birds and other species. Due to climate change, deforestation, and economic unrest, these plants worthy of protection continue to disappear in favor of faster-growing and higher-yielding but less aromatic varieties, such as the CCN-51 clone. This is also true for other plants and species.
The name Ara Chocolat comes from the Ara parrots, native to Central and South America. The word Ara comes from the cry of the animals, which the indigenous people named after it. Only the large species give the typical cries. Today, eight species still belong to the genus, some are already extinct.