Going bananas for Washu (and chocolate, of course)

We are honored to share the story of the newest Creo Chocolate Bar: The Washu Bar.

Rainforest Origins

In the lush El Choco Rainforest of northwestern Ecuador, a group of thirteen families are changing how they farm. Instead of cutting down rainforest trees for timber sales or crop expansion, they are adopting sustainable farm management practices with high quality cacao trees. Not only are these farmers improving their quality of life; they are providing a home for the critically endangered Ecuadorian Brown-Headed Spider Monkey that only lives in trees. Known by the locals as Washu, this native primate is part of the 25 most endangered primates in the world, and is the most threatened species of Ecuador.

Samuel and Anita

With the help of seasoned cacao farmers, Samuel and Anita, and the University of Sussex, these families have joined with “Proyecto Washu” to preserve the rainforest, their livelihood, and the Washu.

Do the names “Samuel and Anita” sound familiar? If you’ve ever visited our cafe and factory, you know their faces, as the farmers who grow the cacao we use to sweeten up our corner of Portland. We think it’s pretty cool that they are helping other farmers grow better cacao using sustainable practices. 🙂

Washu Flavor

El Choco Rainforest beans hold a tantalizing flavor, mild yet exquisitely complex. Prominent flavor notes include a floral front and fruity back. As you might be able to tell, the bar we’ve been privileged to make from these little beauties is quickly becoming a favorite, both to talk about and to eat!

For current information about the project and how you can get involved, visit the NGO Proyecto Washu website: www.proyectowashu.org. Let’s make a difference together! It’s chocolate for Change!

ICS and London’s Academy of Chocolate Awards (and a few more!)

It has been a whirlwind of events and competitions this season! The International Chocolate Salon 2017 honored us with four stars in the Best Chocolatier & Confectioners in America Awards, along with the title of “Superior Chocolatier.” They rated our Raspberry Dark bar 5 out of 5 stars, with bronze medals for both “Best Ingredient Combinations” and “Best Chocolate Bar.”

Washu

The Washu Project bar earned two silver medals and a bronze, for “Best Taste,” “Best Chocolate Bar,” and “Best Texture,” respectively. We really appreciated one judge’s feedback, “The Washu Project bar was absolutely amazing! My taste buds sung with joy as the flavor profiles unveiled itself.” We’re glad they enjoyed it as much as we do!

Washu Bar Awards

A few weeks ago, we were honored to receive a handful of awards from The Academy of Chocolate. This London-based organization was founded by five of Britain’s top chocolate professionals. It exists to help educate consumers about chocolate, from understanding ethical sourcing to training their palate.

Raspberry Dark

In the Flavoured Dark Chocolate Bars category, our Dark Raspberry bar made us proud with a silver medal. (Fun history fact: in its first release, this bar was originally named “Razzle in the Dark.” However, after customer feedback and many discussions about ambiguity, the berry-licious treat earned its current title.)

In the Bean to Bar Milk category, we brought home two silver medals. We know what you’re thinking: “Since when has Creo made milk chocolate?” After months of testing and tasting, we’ve developed two new flavors: the Browned Butter bar and the Dark Milk with Fleur de sel bar.

Minty Dark

Our Minty Dark bar brought home a bronze medal in the Flavoured Dark Chocolate Bars category. We couldn’t help smiling when we found out this labor-of-love bar caught the attention of The Academy. It also won a Good Food Award this year, and a bronze medal in the Americas region of the International Chocolate Awards… There is a reason that this is one of our most popular bars made with our refreshing Northwest mint!

Nibs & Sea Salt

The salty-crunchy Nibs & Sea Salt bar joined our Minty Dark in the bronze-winning category.
Nibs & Sea Salt Bar Awards

Spicy Dark

Not to be left out of the party, the Spicy Dark bar also joined the Creo Chocolate bronze-winner club! (Speaking of parties, the flavor mix in this bar is literally a “party in your mouth.” If you’ve tried it, you know what we mean. It’s not a bar to burn taste buds. Rather, it is a bar meant to hit every part of your mouth with a different flavor note…Tim likes to call it “a symphony in your mouth!”)Spicy Dark Bar Awards

Purely Dark

In the Bean to Bar (under 80%) category, our classic Purely Dark bar also earned a bronze. This treat is the base for all of our 73% bars. (Fun fact: come in for a Make-a-Bar tour, and design your own flavor creation on top of this bar!)Purely Dark Bar Awards

Sipping Chocolates

Our Midnight Truffle Sipping Chocolate earned a bronze in the Plain Hot Chocolate category, while our Mayan Spice Sipping Chocolate earned the same in the Flavoured Hot Chocolate category.Midnight Truffle Sipping Chocolate AwardsWe greatly appreciate the consideration and recognition of The Academy of Chocolate, The International Chocolate Awards, International Chocolate Salon and the Good Food Awards. As always, thank you for your support. Cheers to the future of fine chocolate!

Mayan Spice Sipping Chocolate Awards