Isn’t it nice to find authenticity? Authentic chocolate, made from authentic cacao, traded authentically, nourishing people and planet.
OBOLO Chocolate founder Mark Gerrits is originally from Milwaukee and is a long-time resident of South America, where he has focused on environmentalism and most recently cacao and chocolate. He and his family live in Santiago, Chile, and he visited the Pangoa cacao collective in Peru this summer, which is where he buys the cacao from which he and his team make their award-winning chocolate in Chile. Exciting news: Mark is now the godfather of a new baby born to Pangoa growers!
As a US importer and distributor of awesome OBOLO Chocolate, I video chatted with dear Mark today, and told him how much I enjoyed the photos and videos he posted from his recent trip. He told me he is the first visitor to the Pangoa collective since the current global situation began, and that he believes not only in maintaining and strengthening relationships but also in showing the world that he means what he says: his partnership with Pangoa is authentic; his cacao is truly traceable, and ethical, as it is grown with no child labor and it is organic.
As you may know, all of the brands I work with meet my 5 Ss of first-class bean-to-bar chocolate:
Mark gave me permission to re-post his Pangoa photos, and you can see more on OBOLO’s Instagram.
You can purchase selections of OBOLO bars at
- Cocoa & Co. in Chicago or online to ship anywhere,
- Rare Bird Preserves in Oak Park, Illinois, or online to ship anywhere,
- The Chocolate Enthusiast in Colorado or online to ship anywhere,
- Totto’s Market in Chicago, and
- Yahara Chocolate in Wisconsin or online to ship anywhere.
Tell them Valerie sent you!
You can also see more about OBOLO in my posts here (including video) and here. And, at the bottom of this post I’m sharing OBOLO-focused photos I took at the Craft Chocolate Experience in San Francisco in March 2020, where I got to spend time with Mark — and so many other chocolate makers and chocolate lovers, plus photos from my own little distribution center and staging area here in sweet home Chicago!
Enjoy this photo-journey to a cacao harvest in Peru, where you’ll see the opening of a cacao pod, and fermenting, drying, and sorting the cacao, and Pangoa families!
Your friend in chocolate,
Founder, Chocolate Uplift — Craft Chocolate Services
Wholesale, Retail, Consulting, Speaking