Ecuador to Empire: The Journey of Grocer's Daughter Chocolate

Check out the journey of Grocer's Daughter Chocolate in the Glen Arbor Sun, then follow the journey here, in pictures!...
Blossoms and baby cacao pods emerge on the trunk of a tree
Just a few of the buds will develop into pods, the red pods are CCN51, the genetic clone of the heirloom variety, Arriba Nacional
Alberto Zamora shows off his homemade, organic fertilizers
Alberto Zamora, a cacao farmer in the Fortaleza del Valle Cooperative, shows off a cacao pod
Cacao beans are removed from the pods and placed in buckets, after that the pulp is removed
Farmers deliver small batches of beans to the co-op at the end of the day. At the co-op they begin the post harvest processing
Berto Zambrano, co-op manager, slices open a cacao bean
Large boxes set up in tiers are used during the fermentation process
Jody Hayden, GDC owner, looks at the drying beans at Fortaleza del Valle
Jenny Samaniego and Pablo Torres show off some Arriba Nacional cacao pods, a variety unique to the western region of Ecuador
Jenny and Berto show off some cacao pods
GDC staff Brady Dotson, Molly Flerlage, and Jody Hayden pose with Alberto Zamora on his farm
Jody and DC Hayden pose at Fortaleza del Valle
Jenny, Jody, and Alberto smile for the camera
Jenny Samaniego and Pablo Torres of Conexion (our friends and primary chocolate supplier) pay a visit to the shop to spend some time with the staff