How Stephen Beaumier of White Label Chocolate found his love for cacao
Stephen Beaumier of White Label Chocolate loves food, and came to love and appreciate cacao. Hailing from the hospitality industry, he found cacao to be the most challenging ingredient he has ever used. Stephen has no formal training; just an unending quest for unattainable perfection through repetition and dedication to his craft. He taught himself, through trial and error, how to make chocolate. He would constantly reach out to his culinary community for feedback.
The first moment that he visited an origin in the jungles of Guatemala near Coban and saw what the cacao farmers had to do to ensure the quality of the cacao is of the highest blew his mind. Watching the men, women and teenagers harvest pods, cracking them for hours and finishing the day humping all the seeds in 150-pound sacks of wet cacao through the jungle to the fermentation beds was an incredible sight for him. It was right then that he knew he needed to apply how he has been living in his own life to this new budding industry.
Stephen shared with Cococlectic, “We believe we are just one part, one organization, one member of an international community that helps cacao farmers make a fair living from their labor. We are honored to be the liaison to the world’s marketplace for the small family farmers who grow our cacao beans and the community co-ops that process them.
Every one of our chocolate bars is hand crafted from bean to bar. We begin by hand sorting, then move on to roasting, cracking, winnowing, refining, aging and finally, tempering. It is a long road, with many variables and decisions made along the way.
It takes about one month for a batch of chocolate to reach its full potential, as we discover the nuances of flavor and aromatics hidden within each unique batch of single-origin cacao.”