TheChocolateLifeLIVE: Understanding Ecuadorian Cacao with Leila Carvajal, Cocoa Supply

TheChocolateLifeLIVE: Understanding Ecuadorian Cacao with Leila Carvajal, Cocoa Supply

Episode 111 of #TheChocolateLifeLIVE streams from 09:00 MST/12:00 EDT on Fri, May 12th from the new HQ of TheChocolateLife: Prescott, AZ & NYC.

When most people think about Ecuador and cacao two things come to mind: Arriba Nacional and CCN-51.

Not surprisingly, there is a lot more to know about cocoa from Ecuador, including the fact that the oldest recorded use and domestication of cacao can be traced to the Santa Ana – La Florida peoples near Palanda in the modern-day Ecuadorian province of Zamora Chinchipe.

I have visited Ecuador three times. The first trips were University of Chocolate trips organized by Pierrick Chouard. Those were in 2003 and 2005. On both trips I visited Quito and Guayaquil with adventures in Napo Province (2003) and Pastaza Province (2005) near the border of Morona Santiago Province and the Ecuadorian border with Peru.

My most recent visit to Ecuador was in 2022. I spent about a week in Puerto Quito in Pichincha Province before heading down to Guayaquil in Guayas Province for another week.

The family of today’s guest, Leila Carvajal, has been involved in cocoa farming since the time of Gran Cacao and the Pepe de Oro over a century ago.

For more than fifty years the Carvajal family’s CAFIESA (Cacaos Finos Ecuatoriana S.A.) factory in the Duran suburb of Guayaquil has been involved in manufacturing chocolate and semi-finished products (nibs, liquor, butter, and powder) for well-known global chocolate brands.

In a live stream from last November (click on the card below) I discussed in depth how Cocoa Supply has reimagined its business to meet changing market demands and how the decisions made led to building a smaller (but still with a 100MT/month capacity), more flexible, facility with lower startup overhead and a significant reduction of fossil fuel consumption that is capable of offering much lower MOQs.

TheChocolateLife::LIVE – Downscaling Chocolate Production Case Study
Episode 70 streams Tue, Nov 29th from 12:00~13:00 EST.

I am not going to rehash the above discussion (which I made solo) in this episode, instead, with Leila as our guide, we are going to focus on the history, the present, and the future of Ecuadorian cacao, complete with Leila’s take on the situation regarding exploiting Amazonian cocoa in modern-day Zamora Chinchipe Province.

As always, we invite your comments and questions live!


Cocoa Supply - Wholesale Sustainable Cacao Products and Specialty Ingredients
Quality and Sustainable Cacao and Specialty Ingredients for bakeries, restaurants, manufacturers, and chocolatiers.
Cocoa Supply US (NYC warehouse)
CocoaSupply B.V.
We import and distribute sustainable quality cocoa powder, cocoa butter, cocoa nibs, chocolate couvertures, and more fine cocoa.
Cocoa Supply EU (Rotterdam warehouse)

Watch/Participate on YouTube, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

Visit TheChocolateWire Channel on YouTube

My LinkedIn profile
TheChocolateLife page on Facebook (live event)


#arriba #nacional #arribanacional #ccn51
#ecuador #grancacao #pepedeoro
#chocolate #craftchocolate #cacao #cocoa #cacau
#TheChocolateLife #LaVidaCocoa

Have thoughts to share or questions to ask?

Leave them in the comments. Not a member? You must be a member to comment. Click the Join button to become a Free or Premium member.


Sign in or become a The Chocolate Life member to join the conversation.
Just enter your email below to get a log in link.

You've successfully subscribed to The Chocolate Life
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access to The Chocolate Life
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.
Success! Your billing info is updated.
Billing info update failed.