A rare method of chocolate production is being practiced by Dana Mroueh’s “Mon Choco” chocolate factory in Ivory Coast. The rarity is not just because the company turns cocoa beans into amazing chocolate bars, it is the process it employs that is the source of attraction.
Mon Choco is a very famous name in the chocolate industry in Ivory Coast but what most people do not know is that on the second floor of the company’s factory is a grinding bike. The bike is surrounded by trays of well-sorted cocoa beans. The beans are poured into a funnel and by a pedaling process are transformed by the bike into chocolate paste.
The 40-year-old Ivorian entrepreneur, Mroueh, who is of French-Lebanese descent is usually present to oversee the production process. Her eagle eyes watch over how the beans are selected down to when the final candies are churned out. Mon Choco is recognized for producing organic chocolate bars which are termed as environmentally-friendly.
According to Mroueh, the bicycle grinder is a way of maintaining the company’s eco-friendly philosophy. She says they want to create a very little negative impact on the environment and so minimize the use of electricity. The use of the grinder helps achieve this while it also provides lots of fun in the production room as it is quite a playful process.
The unique taste of Mon Choco chocolates comes from the fact that the beans aren’t roasted and there are no additives. The process is mostly manual and the taste of the raw cocoa beans is the added advantage. Due to the scarcity of organic cocoa beans in Ivory Coast, Mon Choco products are quite expensive (US$2.60 per bar). This is definitely beyond the reach of the average Ivorian local, however, people who patronize say they have no regrets as it about the best on the market.