We sat down with Tim McCollum, co-founder of Madecasse to learn more the Winter Spice Dark Chocolate Bars in our Holiday Gift Box, and what makes making chocolate at the origin so world-changing (and tasty!)
How did Madecasse get its start, and what makes your way of doing business unique?
The origins of the company go back to being Peace Corps volunteers in Madagascar. We saw an opportunity to include more local communities in the value chain of chocolate compared to industry practice. The two unique things you could say about our business are that the chocolate is made with an heirloom cocoa, which gives it a natural fruity flavor. And that, when possible, we make the entire product from start-to-finish in Africa.
Tell us a bit about the product you're including in the True Moringa holiday gift box.
We're including our Winter Spice Dark Chocolate Bar with undertones of ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg- made with heirloom cocoa- some of the last genetically pure cocoa in the world. This is one of our exclusive holiday items. It incorporates traditional holiday flavors, with a local Madagascar twist.
Take us through your supply chain; what does it take to make your beautiful natural ingredients go from the source to the package?
The supply chain has a couple of key steps: cocoa variety mixed with great growing conditions; proper fermentation and drying and farmers who care about doing it right; manufacturing processes. Madagascar is a remote country, and the various regions within it are remote even from each other. So it probably sounds a little easier than it is!
What do you love most about your job?
There is a new challenge every day. We've run head-on into all of the reasons why very few people make chocolate at origin. They are all reasons that make us pause, think and find solutions. But not of them are show stoppers. The fact the problem solving enables more social impact, makes us even more motivated to solve the problems.
What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Don't create something that will simply compete in a crowded field. Real value creation comes from things that haven't been done before.
What's the next big thing for Madecasse?
Two new flavors are coming in 2016!