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Visit of Rosario & Robert - two co-founders and cacao farmers of Choba Choba

Almost a month has passed since Rosario and Robert, the two co-founders of Choba Choba and also cacao farmers, left their home in the Peruvian Alto Huayabamba Valley to visit us - the Swiss Choba Choba team - as well as our partners and customers in Switzerland and Germany. The two-week trip's schedule was filled with visits to partners and customers in Switzerland and Germany, attendance at the ISM (International Sweets Fair) in Cologne, shared time with the Swiss team, and some sightseeing activities.


Some highlights of the journey:

  • Partner Visits: Rosario and Robert gained fascinating insights, especially at partners like our couverture manufacturer Felchlin in Schwyz and the Bandgenossenschaft in Bern, our packaging and shipping partner.
  • Customer Visits: The shared time with our customers was enriching for everyone. Rosario and Robert found it particularly rewarding to meet the people behind the creative masterpieces using Choba Choba chocolate. Customers, in turn, found it extremely enriching to meet cacao farmers in person and ask them direct questions about cacao production and life in the Peruvian Amazon.
    • In the French-speaking part of Switzerland, Rosario and Robert visited Absolument Chocolat and Moutalier, while in the German-speaking part, Eichenberger, Casino Bern, and Casa Nobile were on the agenda. These customers use our chocolate for their creative masterpieces. For example, at Eichenberger, you can find the Choba Choba bear made with our chocolate. At Casa Nobile and Casino Bern, exquisite pralines and desserts are created with our couvertures. The same applies to Absolument Chocolat and Moutarlier.
    • In Germany, Robert and Rosario visited customers like Clemente from Clement Chococult and met other German professional customers such as Hermann Ratzinger (our couverture distributor in Germany), Barbara and Michael Krönner from Krönner Chocolaterie, as well as Stefan Schneider from Schokosphäre.
  • Visit to ISM in Cologne: In addition to partner and customer visits, attending the International Sweets Fair in Cologne (28-30 January 2024) was another highlight for Rosario & Robert. The opportunity to meet people from around the world - from cacao farmers in Ghana and Ivory Coast to distributors and chocolate manufacturers - inspired them about our unique business model and chocolate creations. Robert also had the unique opportunity to present Choba Choba with Christoph Inauen at the Club des Confiseurs event on the eve of the fair and discuss "Direct Trade" with other chocolate entrepreneurs.
  • Time with the Swiss Team: The Swiss team also spent some hours with Rosario and Robert to get to know each other better and discuss current chocolate business questions in Europe personally. After the Swiss team's trip to the Alto Huayabamba Valley last June, it was especially nice for everyone to see each other again.
  • Finally, the travel program naturally included some sightseeing moments. Along with Christoph Inauen and his family, Rosario and Robert visited Zermatt. Furthermore, with Gabriela Sanchez, the president of the Choba Choba Foundation, they explored Zurich and its surroundings. The trip concluded with meetings with more friends from Switzerland and Germany over shared dinners.


Reason for the Trip & Farmer Selection Process:

Since 2016, we have been offering Choba Choba farmers the opportunity to travel to Europe to meet their customers, the Choba Choba community, speak with partners and media, work hand in hand with our Swiss team, and learn/discover the entire cocoa-to-chocolate process. We call these trips "Learning Journeys." Bringing together cocoa farmers, partners, and chocolate consumers is part of Choba Choba's core mission. Choba Choba was created to reunite the people behind the chocolate so they can together shape a different kind of chocolate business and chocolate enjoyment. So far, there have been 4 Learning Journeys: 2016, 2017, 2019, and 2024.

The selection process is two-fold: all interested farmers send a letter expressing their motivation and the "why" of the experience and are interviewed by the cooperative's staff and board. The finalists then present themselves to the community, and the "travelers" are democratically elected by the General Assembly of the Choba Choba Cooperative.


Some personal words about Rosario and Robert's journey:

"Our trip to Europe was truly unforgettable for us. A big thank you to all of you who enjoy and/or use our chocolate for their chocolate creations. We want to assure you that we will continue to do our best to provide you with the finest cacao and the best chocolate. Moreover, we are proud to know that our work in the Amazon also contributes to environmental protection. Thank you for being part of this adventure."


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