Ana is our Mexican Hot Chocolate maker out of Oaxaca, Mexico. This is her story of family history and chocolate, and why she's happy to be part of the Verve Culture family.
"My name is Ana Velia Ortiz Villarreal and I am from Zaachila Village in Oaxaca, México. I grew up watching my grandmother and mother making chocolate at home. I'm 28 now but when I was a teenager my mother started the business and at that moment, I knew that I wanted to dedicate my profession and life to the chocolate.
My mother, Mrs. Dora Villarrea, rescued her grandmother's recipe to make hot chocolate and started a small business to help the home economy, just as most businesses are born. From the beginning, her first goal was to export the product so she created a special way to pack the chocolate that represents a gift for clients and the little bag was born.
Our first clients were friends and family. My mother started with just 3 kilograms of chocolate in a small room. Now our factory produces and sells 2 tons per month all year, giving employment to the community and making the famous little bag travel around the world.
Cacao is the most important ingredient in our recipe, and this comes from Chiapas, which is famous for its Cacao trees. We also use nuts and other ingredients from our Oaxaca community - almonds, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla. We just play with everything until we create our favorite flavor. The almonds, nuts, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla we buy in the local markets in our community, and we have special alliances with local suppliers that produce for us.
It is really important not forget our roots and culture and share this with people all over the world. I hope one day to teach my kids the artisanal process from our production team who use traditional skills. In México, the artisanal way to make chocolate is with the metate but this tool is very slow and needs hard physical work and time, so we use stone millers to make the pasta; but the mold filling and packing is completely manual – this is how we fuse technology with tradition.
What I like the most is how I feel when I'm at the factory. I can be tired and under stress, but knowing that people like our chocolate all around the world gives me a happiness and pride that makes me move on and not give up. I am more than happy, because the goal of the company is to work every day to share our sacks with people from other places who will have a piece of us, and a piece of our dear Oaxaca."
Verve Culture is proud to work with Ana and the family at Villa Real to bring their delicious Mexican Chocolate to the market. This chocolate can be prepared as a hot drink with water or milk and you can also eat it as a snack. This natural chocolate is healthy and provides nutrients for a balanced diet. View our Hot Chocolate Collection here >>
Mexican Hot Chocolate - Villa Real