Bean to Bar Chocolate Maker: Kyya Chocolate
Bean to Bar Chocolate Maker Location: Elm Springs, Arkansas
Website: Kyya Chocolate
Date Established: April 2014
Ingredients Used: 5 -Cocoa Beans, Cocoa Butter, Cane Sugar, Madagascar Vanilla, Pinch of Salt
Allergy Information: May contain traces of tree nuts
Kyya Chocolate was born in a converted Mexican restaurant in Elm Springs, Arkansas where a team of artisans were crafting fine single origin bean to bar chocolate. It all started as a result of a trip to Uganda in 2012, a small team initially took on the challenge to help an orphanage. As the founders Rick Boosey and Ben Butler both have adopted orphans (from China and Ethiopia), engaging in a strategy to help reduce the effects of malnutrition and object poverty was a no brainer. The question was how?
As the team analyzed all of the natural resources Uganda had to offer, Cocoa kept coming up. From that birthed the thought was that a chocolate company might be the vehicle in which they could provide long lasting sustainable help to the poor and vulnerable orphans around the world. After a year of testing and creating over 1000 batches of chocolate, they identified formulas for excellent chocolate in 72.5% Midnight Dark, 50.3% Dark and 33.3% Milk chocolate.
Kayya Chocolate has identified one key ingredient that most chocolate makers do not use: Salt. They use 1 tablespoon of sea salt per 40 pounds of chocolate or 0.04% per 2.8oz bar. It is an amount that most times that the taste is undetectable. They use it simply as subtle a flavor enhancer.
Kyya Chocolate has big plans. They build relationships with local farmers around the world, pay them above fair trade prices and invest in them, helping farmers experience better yields and higher quality cacao.
Their vision is to partner with 40 cacao farmers from countries around the world that have unique or exclusive cocoa beans. They hope to work with these farmers to help them increase the utility and quality of their farm by giving them the opportunity to earn more income as well as invest in the local communities where they live. They stick true to their mission to producing small batches to retain artisan flavors, hand ground to maximize flavor dynamics, committed to working directly with farmers, investing in communities globally and sourcing from remote cocoa producing countries. They are committed to becoming a purist, a true “farm to bar” chocolate maker.