The chocolate idea began innocently enough, when my wife ordered a pound of Cocoa Beans on the internet. Why? She missed the hot chocolate drink from back home, and the hot chocolate here was too sweet for her taste.
The beans sat around the store for several weeks, when finally, she asked me to bring the beans, and a corn mill we had in our store but never sold.
She then got busy preparing the chocolate in the kitchen. I heard roasting, (we roast our own coffee too), I smelt chocolate, and then silence, for a long time. I learned later, that she was peeling the shells off the beans, a tedius task. She then called me to help grind the cocoa. I manned the handle, she fed the cocoa. Cocoa sticks to everything, that's why her task was to scrape it off from the mill, as it was being expelled. We re-fed the cocoa repeatedly, she scolded me for daring to sweat anywhere near the grinder, fearing the drops of sweat would spoil the cocoa. Finally the cocoa started to liquify, from a combination of friction and heat. I sweating profusely at this point, and retired to the relative coolness of the living room.
After some time she called me into the kitchen to taste the chocolate. Frankly, I was lost for words, it was the first time in my life, to have tasted fresh chocolate.
From that day forward we had dedicated ourselves to change our houseware store to start the manufacturing of chocolate.
We have roasted coffee for the past 15 years. Most coffees stay fresh for approximately 7 to 10 days. No matter how it's packaged coffee oxidizes from the moment the coffee is roasted. Chocolate has the same characteristics as coffee, so we had plenty of experience to apply to cocoa beans.