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Martin Rhyne and Jon Spurgeon of Tuanis Chocolate

Posted by Coleen L on May 04, 2017. 0 Comments

Tuanis Chocolate was founded by friends Martin Rhyne and Jon Spurgeon in 2015. The two have frequented Costa Rica together and with friends for some 15 years, and in 2014, decided to look into bringing cacao back to the US. They realized that the quality of the cacao in Costa Rica was "too nice", but very hard to find in the US. As Jon pursued his MBA and Martin established a relationship with farmers in the Limon region, their vision to bring some of the "pura vida" lifestyle back to the US in the form of the finest chocolate slowly materialized.

Tuanis Chocolate was founded on the idea that quality at the source is unmatched, and needs no additives, false advertising, or bad business practice to bring it to retail markets to be enjoyed by customers, and for the business to be successful. Tuanis’ name is derived from a Costa Rican slang that is a play on the phrase "too nice". It is a positive salutation similar to “pura vida”, and is used among Costa Ricans in the same manner as to how "aloha" is used in Hawaii.

Tuanis Chocolate buys beans directly from the farmers, and pays them a large premium for their fine cacao beans. The farmers work with the Center for Agricultural Tropical Research which provides them with the educational and farming tools needed to optimize their harvest – from methodology to improved cacao genetics and capital resourcing. This promotes the well-being and sustainability of the farmers, their families and their livelihood.

Currently, neither Jon nor Martin are chocolate makers. They contract their bean-to-bar manufacturing through Davis Chocolate in Indiana. Davis Chocolate is a bean-to-bar facility that is entirely soy free, and focuses on organic and fair trade products. Their plan is to scale up and take over manufacturing in the next two to three years, after reaching targeted benchmark growth. In the meantime, they have utilized Davis Chocolate's manufacturing process, as it aligns completely with Tuanis' vision of providing quality chocolate products that are organic, fair trade, and soy free.

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