Biking Music – Via Obolo Chocolate
ÓBOLO is the consequence of a 3-month vacation in Chile -which ended up being several years-, and of a subsequent trip throughout Latin America discovering its people, culture, its ecosystems, its flavors, aromas, and colors. It is also the consequence of three years working in the jungle of Ecuador together with cocoa-producing communities, and ten years of work in the international environmental conservation organization The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in Chile, from which Mark Gerrits was able to continue exploring the corners of Latin America.
Living in the country since 2003, Mark -American- continued to cultivate his passion for chocolate, his strong bond with Latin America, and his deep interest in connecting his values with environmental and social sustainability. Over time, he became aware of the emptiness that there was in Chile regarding the production of chocolate: we are in South America, close to the Amazon, which is the point of origin of cocoa. Why, then, not go looking for cocoa beans? , bring them to Chile and make authentic, pure, and excellent quality chocolate that, in addition, has a lower carbon footprint than chocolates imported from other parts of the world? It was thanks to questions like these that Mark set himself a personal challenge: to verify that world-class chocolate “made in Chile” could be made.
In 2013, and with a full heart after the arrival of his daughter Emma, he realized that a challenge like this required having the best cocoa beans. This is how Mark decided to travel to Peru on several occasions to visit different cocoa production areas, in order to identify the best beans that the jungle could deliver, as well as the cooperatives that best worked on social and environmental sustainability criteria throughout the entire process. cocoa cultivation process.
Little by little, the hobby of making chocolate from the cocoa bean at home took shape -and flavor-, and in 2015 Mark quit his job at TNC to dedicate himself 100% to developing his dream.
Óbolo is more than a chocolate brand or a family business; Óbolo is one more extension of the life and values of a man passionate about social and environmental ethics who, under his philosophy of life, reinvented himself and decided to commit 100% to chocolate dedicated to making those who prefer it happy.