Is Coronavirus Killing Craft Chocolate on the Road?

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Having a company is similar to having children; it does not make financial sense, and the same is true for a small business.

-Barbara Wilson, Mindo Chocolate Makers Co-Founder

Although Covid-19 has decimated communities all over the globe, it has also almost brought the global economy to a standstill. Virtually every business in the world is being impacted, often negatively, and handmade chocolate is no different. Not only have chocolate sales been negatively impacted, but the supply chain has been disrupted, perhaps for many years.

Therefore, who has been most and least impacted in the supply chain? What will happen in the next year or two? I talked with four individuals engaged in different stages of the supply chain, from cultivating and harvesting cacao to producing and selling chocolate, to get some answers to these questions. Today’s episode delves into how Coronavirus has altered the landscape of fine chocolate as we know it only a few months ago, and what you can do as a consumer to assist.

Click here to read an article about this episode.

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Chocolate Travel (@damecacao) at 8:21am PDT on April 17, 2020 Max Gandy shared this post.

We cover the following topics:

  • overview of cacao in Peru
  • the obstacles cacao farmers around the world are facing during this harvest season
  • cacao farmers’ & distributors’ concerns for the future in the face of coronavirus
  • chocolate makers’ sharp pivot towards online sales, and even an online chocolate-only festival
  • adjustments a solopreneur can make to keep their small business alive during this crisis
  • the realities of running an international business during the coronavirus outbreak

Display Timeline

0:00-9:35 An summary of Peruvian cocoa culture, the difficulties of harvesting cacao under a statewide lockdown, and how farmers could respond if the cacao market suffers. (Laura Rosaura)

9:35-19:20 The present state of agricultural communities in Belize and Guatemala, reductions in cacao purchases, and how the handmade chocolate sector is rapidly shifting to the internet. (Dharna, Anjuli)

19:20-25:40 A solopreneur approaches his chocolate business differently in the wake of the coronavirus. (Rasmussen, Ben)

25:40-33:20 What a modest international chocolate producer is going through throughout this crisis while living in a viral hotspot. (Wilson, Barbara)

33:20-36:05 The desire for a thriving artisan chocolate sector both during and after the epidemic. Finally, the episode concludes with Anjuli Dharna’s parting comments.

More About Our Visitors

Rosaura Laura: Cacao farmer’s daughter, CEO of Juan Laura The Chocolate Farmer, and agronomic specialized in Peruvian cocoa. See Juan Laura’s Instagram and Facebook pages.

Anjuli Dharna is the Sales Director of Uncommon Cacao, a global supplier of ethically and openly sourced cacao beans. Uncommons may be found on Facebook, Instagram, and their website.

Ben Rassmussen is the founder and lone employee of Potomac Chocolate, a bean-to-bar, handmade chocolate manufacturer situated in northern Virginia, USA. Potomac may be found on Facebook, Instagram, and their website.

Barbara Wilson is the co-founder of Mindo Chocolate Manufacturers and El Quetzal de Mindo, both of which are situated in Ecuador and the United States. Mindos may be found on Facebook, Instagram, and his website.

Further Reading

  • Cacao as an ancient food
  • Coca replacement program in Peru
  • Crude oil prices at an all-time low
  • Cacao Brands Episode
  • Emily Stone interview
  • 2018 Uncommon Cacao transparency report
  • Stay Home With Chocolate website
  • Craft Chocolate Experience website
  • Impact of Covid-19 in Africa
  • Learn more about the early effects of the pandemic upon the fine chocolate industry in this video from the FCCI

Contact Chocolate On The Road

@chocolateontheroad on Instagram

@chocolateontheroad on Facebook ) of Our show music is Roadtrip by Phil Reavis, and our transition music is Were Gonna Be Around by People Like Us and a variety of Lobo Loco tunes. Includes samples from H. R. Jothipala’s Ninda Nena Rathriye and Marceau’s Contractt from, as well as Kai Engel’s Slum Canto (http:

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