Ana Villarreal from Zaachila Village in Oaxaca, México, and her family's secret recipe is behind the traditional chocolate product that we offer here at Verve Culture; Villarreal Chocolate. Ana's mother, Mrs. Dora Villarreal, rescued her grandmother's recipe for making hot chocolate and started a small business to help support their family and community. Ana and her team of artisans produce the chocolate using stone millers for making the paste and manual techniques for filling the mold and packing the chocolate. They fuse traditions with modern technology to make this delightful chocolate that can be consumed as a hot drink or even as a sweet treat.
The story of their handmade chocolate goes back generations, and Ana learned the art of making chocolate by watching her grandmother and mother. She has been doing this work for five years, while her mother has been at it for eleven years. The raw materials that they use are locally sourced from their community in Oaxaca. The cacao comes from a direct producer in Chiapas, while the nuts, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla come from the local market but Ana and her team are working on finding a local cacao producer to enhance the quality of their raw materials.
To produce a day's worth of chocolate, Ana and her team of seven people require a turn of seven hours for production and nine hours for packaging. The team is essential to the process as everyone has their roles and areas of expertise. In high season, they have up to twelve people working with them. Ana manages and overseas each role in their workshop.
Ana is happy that their chocolate product and its story have been embraced in the United States. She believes that by sharing their product, they can share their culture and history with people all over the world. She hopes that American children will learn about the significance of consuming natural chocolates that provide nutrients in a balanced diet, instead of consuming the supermarket chocolate that has many harmful additives.
The importance of passing on the tradition of making this chocolate product is not only about remembering their roots and culture. It's also about keeping their family legacy alive and creating job opportunities for their small community. Ana hopes to teach her children the art of making chocolate one day to keep their artisanal tradition going.
Ana's passion for making this chocolate stems from the happiness and pride she feels when people enjoy their product. It's not about the money for her; it's about sharing her family's legacy with the world. The chocolate product that Ana and her team produce is not just another food item on the shelf; it's a piece of history, culture, and tradition.