Our chocolate supplier, Luker Chocolate, invited us to discover the bean to bar process in the flesh. They run a chocolate-making enterprise unlike any other. Casa Luker, are a family-owned business that has been producing top-quality chocolate for over a century, and prides itself on its commitment to ethical sourcing and sustainability practices. They have really raised the bar, when it comes to chocolate.

Casa Luker Hat

We were blown away by their hospitality and generosity, but mostly by Casa Luker's rigorous attention to detail and quality control measures, which ensure that their chocolate is of the highest possible caliber. On this adventure we also got to explore the diverse range of cacao varieties that Casa Luker grows in its chocolate-making process, creating flavors and textures that are as unique as they are delicious. All of their beans are from the criollo or Trinitario varieties and never from the low grade Forastero.

Oli Planting a Cacao Plant

But what truly sets Casa Luker apart from other chocolate companies is their unwavering commitment to ethical and sustainable practices. The company works directly with local farmers to ensure that their cocoa beans are sourced ethically and without any forms of exploitation or child labor and is certainly slavery free. They also promote environmentally friendly farming practices with agroforestry and invest in education and healthcare programs for the farming communities they work with.

Casa Luker's focus on sustainability extends beyond its ethical sourcing practices, with the company using solar panels and rainwater collection to reduce its carbon footprint. By prioritising the long-term sustainability and development of the communities they work with, Casa Luker is leading the way for the entire chocolate industry to become more environmentally and socially responsible.

If you're looking to find out more about where your chocolate comes from, perhaps dig a little deeper on companies like Tony's Chocolonely and question their big claims, beneath all that sweetness is a rather bitter taste. We can certainly vouch for great companies such as Pump Street or Bare Bones, also closer to home are Chocolarder, Rio Nuevo, Willie's Cacao and the amazing new space at Dart's Farm, where you can see it all being made in front of you.

Between the coco pods and the mosquitoes, we whip up a brownie, defying the humidity and the altitude. Returning the chocolate to it's origins in the plantation at Granja Luker.