Passion & Purpose
At Ashanty Chocolate, we understand that the finest Cacao beans are the ones that grow in the ideal climate of the Equatorial rainforest. Cacao beans have unique flavor profiles shaped by their environment, climate, soil, elevation and the farmers' harvesting practices.
Most of the chocolates available today are made with roasted chocolate. At Ashanty Chocolate, we do not roast our chocolate beans. The Cacao beans we used are dried in the sun for weeks after being harvested by the farmers. We then delicately smoke them at an optimum temperature in order enhance all the natural flavors unique to the Cacao beans we source.
We travel all over West and Central Africa to purchase our Cacao directly from the farmers who grow and harvest them. Having lived in Africa for over 18 years and worked in Cacao farms for a long time, we know that it takes extreme attention to detail and a unique set of skills to produce the finest Cacao beans on earth. So we strive to reward farmers and their communities by purchasing Cacao beans at prices competitive enough to allow the farmers to benefit from their hard work.
Cacao is not just an ingredient or a commodity. We source our Cacao from individual farmers who are still using agricultural practices passed on from generation to generation. We stay away from mass production and focus our efforts into getting only the naturally grown Cacao beans that gather the flavors of the soil where they are grown. My grandfather was one of those farmers, and I know how back-breaking it is to produce the finest Cacao beans.
Our Organic program delivers an assortment of flavorful chocolates made with 100% organic ingredients:
Our organic Macadamia Nuts and Mixed Nuts are slowly roasted and smoked for 4 hours to enhance their natural flavors before being sprinkled onto our fresh chocolates.
We soak our organic Blueberries into organic Cabaret Sauvignon red wine for 24 hours and then we dried them before sprinkling the blueberries onto our delicious organic dark chocolates.
We source the world’s finest cacao beans from Peru. These cacao beans have quickly acquired a reputation of excellence due to their unique aromas.
Our process increases the smoothness of our chocolates so that they melt in your mouth and never in your hands.
Ashanty Chocolate is a true culinary creation, and is always more than what you savor. Ashanty Chocolate is handcrafted by people who are passionate about chocolate; that’s why its taste reveals the care unique to the African farmers who harvest the cocoa beans, the flair of the chefs who make the chocolates, and the joy of the people who bring this great chocolate to you.
If you’ve ever tasted an Ashanty product, we hope you’ll agree that our love for creating artisan confections is evident in each bite. Using cocoa as a base, our chocolatiers are always experimenting to find delicious and unexpected flavors.
ABOUT ASHANTY CHOCOLATE:
Ashanty Chocolate was born of founder Constantine Abanda’s desire to create a chocolate savoring experience where both passion and purpose come together.
Ashanty is a destination for Premium delicious chocolates that are both handcrafted and aligned with our core values: to source organic ingredients from farmers we know and partners we trust in order to produce the world's finest artisan chocolates in an ethical and sustainable fashion, and to support the causes that are dearest to us and our communities, and to help make the world a better place for all.
ABOUT THE COMPANY
Ashanty Chocolate is a manufacturer of handcrafted organic chocolate here in New York City. We are USDA certified, Gluten Free, Fair Trade and use no added flavor, sugar or extra ingredients.
We only source Organic Cacao, Organic Cane Sugar and then either Blueberries, Macadamia, Mixed Nuts, Caramel and Cinnamon, all of which are also organic, Gluten Free and Fair Trade.
Ashanty Chocolate is a small company with 5 employees with a simple mission to create a chocolate savoring experience were passion and purpose come together. This mission sets us aside because it reflects my history with chocolate and the causes with donate to, as the founder of this company.
Q & A WITH THE FOUNDER:
Why did you start Ashanty?
I grew up in Cameroon in Central Africa, where my grandfather owned a cocoa farm. I spent years helping him harvest the pods, sundry them, package them and ship them into the city. But we were too poor to afford the final product, and my parent did not want me having sweets anyway. So I did not really know what the cocoa was for. Then one day, I tried it at about age 10 for the first time, and my life changed. I became fascinated with chocolate and wanted to learn the chocolate making process. It wasn't until 20 years later, that I finally took the leap, and here we are.
Why did you chose to give back?
Having lived in Africa for 18 years, I saw and lived through poverty, hunger, diseases and lack of education, witnessing how these things ruined otherwise promising lives. So it was an easy decision for me to give back, even before I started this business. I thought the best way to go about it was create a program to donate to not just one but to multiple causes that impact lives.
Why not just donate to one cause and focus on it?
We don't pretend to be able to solve every problem under the sun, but at the same time, we live in a world where people have more than one problem at the time. A child can be out of school, hungry and suffering from malaria. If we give them food, they will still be sick and out of school. So if we can do all three things for that child, it doesn't mean we are taking away from another one. It simply means we have a more holistic approach to helping other people. And if there is another child out there who needs help, it doesn't mean we have to take aide away from one child to give to the other. It means more people have to get involved to help.
So you're still setting up a foundation but can you name places you will be donating to?
We have made contact with several nonprofits in attempt to partner and donate through them, although nothing has been finalized yet: The Water Project; Education Africa; St. Jude Children Hospital, Stop Hunger Now, and Nothing but Nets are some of them.
Why make Africa the primary focus of your donations efforts?
Since I am originally from Africa, our current efforts are focused there, where we donate to help fight Hunger, Malaria and Cancer, and aim to provide Education and Clean Water. We are currently setting up a foundation to better channel our donations. Our customers understand our humble mission, and the support we have received in the past few months has been tremendous. We are also working with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in the Bronx to fight hunger even here in New York City's poorest communities. We are starting in Africa because the situation is even more critical there.
5 FLAVORS - 5 CAUSES - 5% DONATION
Every time you purchase one of Ashanty's chocolates, we donate 5% to the Cause the Chocolate you purchased represents.
Constantine Abanda, CEO
Constantine founded Ashanty Chocolate in April 2016. He is a graduate of Baruch College and is an experienced chocolatier.
Who is Ashanty?
ABOUT QUEEN ASHANTY
Queen Mother Asante also known as Yaa Asantewaa led the Ashanty rebellion known as the War of the Golden Stool against British colonialism in the late 1800s.
When her brother died in 1894, Queen Mother Ashanty nominated her own grandson to be king. When the British exiled him in the Seychelles in 1896, she stood up to the British and urged the Ashanty people to get up and fight to protect their empire and avenge the fallen king.
With this, she took on leadership of the Ashanty Uprising of 1900, gaining the support of some of the other Ashanty nobility. In those days, it was impossible to imagine a woman take such an active political role. But Queen Ashanty was fighting for a cause. She was fighting for her people. Her courage and determination are attributes that made her a true legend.
THE ASHANTY TRIBE
The Ashanty live in central and southern Ghana in western Africa. They are famous goldsmiths and are best known in America for their Kente cloth, a fabric originally worn by the royalty of the Ashanty. Historians can trace the beginnings of the Ashanty people to the thirteenth century, however, they did not hold great power until the end of the seventeenth. According to Ashanty legend, a golden stool descended from heaven and rested on the knees of the first Ashanty king called the Ashantehene.
But to the Ashanty, the family and the mother are the most important institutions. A child is said to inherit the father’s soul or spirit (ntoro) and from the mother, a child receives flesh and blood (mogya). This therefore relates children more closely to their mother, making Queen Mother Ashanti the most important member of the Ashanty Tribe.