It all started with chocolate makers and chocolatiers asking me suggestions about cacao origins, specialty retailers, or couverture chocolate suppliers. So I wondered, “What if I can provide them with a responsive tool that can answer their questions quickly and with narrowed options to start from?”.
From this intuition, I developed an initial idea to build a map geared exclusively toward a B2B (business-to-business) resource: to put the names of the cacao origins, chocolate retailers, and couverture producers on the map, and to offer the inquirer the possibility to find the information she needed autonomously. But as soon as I reached the halfway point of compiling a spreadsheet packed with data regarding companies and the products/services they offered, I thought that retailers might also be the object of interest for chocolate consumers. Since then, I stopped collecting data and reviewed my intentions with the project. I figured out I could create a database integrated with a map, a tool that included not only products and services chocolate makers and chocolatiers would look for, but providing the big picture of the whole specialty chocolate industry for everyone’s benefit.
At that point, the going got tough. I believed I could not describe with a high level of detail not only “who” and “where”, but also “what” for each company and professional involved in the industry. However, requests from people in the industry I was regularly observing convinced me that results from this map would be worth the struggle to make it.
So, I began to break down a lot of information and translate them into data to make the map more “granular” (as big data analysts would call it) than the average map seen before, armed with filters that could offer everyone flexibility and customization.
This map is my professional and personal expression of dedication, patience, and, above all, inspiration by the people I admire along my journey in this vibrant food industry. Every row, every cell that gives breath to the rendered database and its linked map is a living thing filled with my biggest hope to connect people in the fine cocoa and chocolate industry with the right resource they’re looking up, or at least to give everyone a more detailed snapshot of the industry.
If you used the map and found it helpful—or you just love this project—please consider sharing the map, writing a review, or sending a donation for my time. Making this project accessible and transparent is my greatest satisfaction, but it also implies efforts to sustain its collective mission.
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This is a great resource to all chocolate lovers out there!!! Please add Forte Chocolates to the map so I can share and promote it to all of my customers. We work with both craft chocolate and couverture chocolate. Thank you so much!!!
I would like to thank you for all your hard work on this information. This will help so much for customer to the right suppliers and pass all the information from farmer to bean to bar makers. From the bottom of my heart, thank you!
The Specialty Cacao & Chocolate Map is an amazing creation. The well organized amount of information available on all things chocolate is incredible. Just as incredible, is how easy it is to use. It is a wonderful tool for all the chocolate world to connect to reliable resources over and over again. It is much appreciated and highly recommended!