Diego Badaró is a fifth-generation cacau planter from the southern part of Bahia state in northeastern Brazil. This area is the historic center of cacau cultivation in Brazil and is home to a large percentage of what's left of the Mata Atlantica, Brazil's largely deforested coastal rain forest. Badaró is passionate about growing the best possible cacau beans for chocolate production and about preserving and fostering the rain forest which is the cacau trees natural habitat. Sometime in 2007 he sent a box of samples of his cacau beans, unsolicited, to Frederick Schilling, the founder and CEO of Dagoba Organic Chocolate, the largest producer and vendor of high-quality organic chocolate in the USA. Schilling was so impressed by the product that within less than a month he was in Brazil to meet Badaró . Realizing that their goals were remarkable similar, the two men decided to start a joint venture in Brazil to produce and market high-quality organic chocolate, sustainable grown.
|Badaró (left) and Schilling (right)|
This joint venture became Amma Chocolate, and today the company has established a small but very creditable niche in Brazil's booming chocolate market. Their distribution is still very limited and their products can only be found in the best chocolate shops in Brazil's larger metropolitan areas. Unfortunately, Fortaleza, my Brazilian hometown doesn't have a local distributor yet, so I will have to wait for my next visit to Rio de Janeiro, Brasília or Salvador to sample an Amma chocolate bar. It's an experience I'll be looking forward to.
Amma has an excellent website detailing their products and the philosophy behind the company. It is in Portuguese only, but has some great photos and links to some English-language articles on the company. It can be found by clicking here.