Depending on seasons, locations and climate events, the flavor and texture of cacao, fruits and nuts varies. This is directly reflected in our products. In ChocoMuseo, we like to see it as nature being involved and participating in our activities, and we find it beautiful.
On purpose, we encourage nature be a factor in the flavor and texture of our products. In each of our countries, in each of our towns, in each of our ChocoMuseos, and even in each batch, you can expect to find variations in our chocolates, jams, liqueurs and beauty line.
When we observe these variations, it reminds us that we are artisans, and that is precisely one of the main sources of enjoyment in our work. As we grow in the number of boutiques and in the number of countries, we are tempted to centralize and to standardize the supply of raw materials. However, we fight this tendency and actively seek to maintain nature’s involvement in our products.
There are countless examples of how our activities have evolved thanks to our coworker’s initiatives. It is thrilling to build an environment where intrapreneurship becomes natural. We feel like magic occurred when we observe this happen.
One example is that of a production team that challenged itself by enrolling in a national contest of chocolate products. It was an exciting project to work on, and a source of pride, especially when it resulted in various medals. It was wonderful to see their satisfaction galvanize other teams when in turn they shared the information with customers.
Some other initiatives that arose from staff inspired initiatives include:
Training a cocoa cooperative in the fermentation process (which improves our own products), and in chocolate making (which enabled them to add value to their own business)
Broadening the range of liqueurs and sweets
Internalizing the production of beauty products (which implied our own training, personal growth, increased added value, access to new markets)
Improving the production process at a national level
Selling chocolate to corporate clients such as bakeries, restaurants and hotels
Renting our machinery to chocolate makers and students
Organic personal growth: training new staff or implementing procedures in other shops (including abroad), developing products and quality, participating in transversal activities (such as marketing, design and social networks), etc.
Except in rare cases, we have a production area in each boutique, which is out in the open for you to see. It’s fun for us to make a show out of our production methods and everyday operations. It also brings a fair share of challenges, for example when it comes to maintaining sanitary standards, as we receive hundreds of visitors a day.
The fact that we produce chocolate in cacao growing countries enables value to be added locally. We are proud to be part of a movement of entrepreneurs consciously working directly with our neighbouring communities. This is not only true for cacao, but for all raw materials, and most interestingly, for services such as design, marketing, and training. As a consequence, you’ll get a sense of intimacy and personality as you go from one boutique to the other.
ChocoMuseo was designed to share our knowledge to people who show an interest. We like it to be personal (that is, with direct interaction between staff and clients) and hands-on.
We are often asked if we are a non-profit organization. Well, we’re not. But yes, we have things in common, like passion, the spirit of sharing, pride in our work and doing our best.
When we are faced with client dissatisfaction, it is a challenge for us to either fix something in our organization or communicate that what the client highlighted is actually done on purpose. In both cases it takes a great deal of honesty: To question ourselves and to accept our mistake, or to discuss our choices in transparency with the client.
It’s actually hard to write words that resonate with everybody involved in ChocoMuseo! For the very reason that we allow a great deal of autonomy throughout our countries and our boutiques, there are local variations of our management style.