Sarah and Colin Hartman of Harper Macaw Chocolate
Posted by Coleen L on October 11, 2016. 0 Comments
Sarah and Colin Hartman came from very different paths. Sarah grew up in Brazil, one of the world’s largest cacao producing nations, and after joining the culinary industry, spent time at both Valrhona and Dandelion Chocolate. Colin served as U.S. Marine officer before jumping into the start-up world and ultimately, getting an MBA. It was in grad school where their vision for Harper Macaw was born. The couple founded Harper Macaw on an ambitious, yet, tangible objective – to turn chocolate into a force for tropical reforestation. They discovered a strong link between the quality of cacao and local rainforest health as well as the potential for cacao agroforestry and private reserves to facilitate large-scale tropical reforestation. Their brand name represents the Harpy Eagle and Hyacinth Macaw, two symbolic endangered species of Brazil’s Atlantic and Amazon rainforests.
Harper Macaw currently sources their cacao directly from select agroforestry farms in Brazil’s Atlantic and Amazon rainforests, two of the earth’s most threatened biomes. It prides itself on having built its own supply chain by sourcing directly from farms that are off the beaten path and not used by other craft chocolate makers. Its process was designed for precision and consistency of flavor and texture. The set-up includes a cylindrical cocoa roaster, five roll mill, single shaft conche, and cooling tunnel. Its factory is located in a renovated newspaper warehouse in Washington, DC.
To realize its rainforest conservation objectives, Harper Macaw has built a partnership with rainforest preserve, Reserva Serra Bonita, in northeast Brazil that is restoring deforested plots of land that were cleared after the region’s devastating Witches Broom outbreak, which decimated the country’s cacao industry. It works with the Rainforest Trust and American Bird Conservancy to amplify the impact of donations made from the sale of its chocolate. Reserva Serra Bonita is expanding by an estimated 20 to 40 square feet every time someone savors a bar of Harper Macaw chocolate.