Today marks the third full day our team has been in San Pedro Sula. We have spent time getting to know the city a bit, meeting local pastors we will be partnering with, and preparing as a team for the next several weeks ahead. Exciting.
We traveled several hours away to the Port of Cortés, spending the latter part of the morning and the early afternoon at the Cortés Cocoa farm. It was probably one of the coolest things I’ve done.
Askinosie Chocolate is located in Springfield, MO and specializes in high quality, single origin, bean to bar chocolate. During our time in training, we spent an afternoon touring the factory, tasting chocolate, as well as meeting owner, Shawn Askinosie and hearing his heart and passion for chocolate, people, and doing things right. He’s a great man, and he runs a really great business that makes some really fantastic chocolate…
I love the Cortés bar. I think, besides nibs baked into brownies, or a nibs and blueberry Jackhammer from Andy’s Frozen Custard, the Cortés is my favorite chocolate. It was so cool to see it’s source. Shortly after we unloaded off our bus, I saw a man that looked strangely familiar. After a moment, I realized it was the farmer featured on the bar’s wrapper (Askinosie features a bio and picture of each of their farmer’s on the wrapper of the chocolate bar that comes from their farm). I may have even shouted out, “Hey look! There’s the farmer! (should I be embarrassed that I recognized a man from a picture on a bar of chocolate? Probably. Am I? Nope…)”
It’s refreshing to spend time somewhere with a group of people who are committed to doing things right. In the Cocoa culture, it is a rarity to find a farm that treats their employees well, grows a quality product, and is against child labor. The Cortés Farm exceeds in all the categories. Today was a fun day. I feel privileged to be given the opportunity to see the entire “Bean to Bar” process!