OUR WORK OUR PRIDE
It all started in the early 2000s when my husband (then boyfriend) was living abroad and wanted to bring a unique Salvadoran gift to his friends. We decided to try making our own ¨Tablilla¨ (chocolate disc made in the traditional way of many Latin American countries, using ground cocoa beans, sugar, coriander seeds, cinnamon and nutmeg). Needless to say, it was a total failure. However, the idea stayed in our minds. Almost 10 years later, I was at home taking care of my three children and I noticed that in the news there was much talk about how the country (El Salvador) was reactivating cocoa production. El Salvador had been for many years an excellent producer of cocoa with a mixture of Trinitario and Criollo varieties. But, due to many historical and unfortunate events, cocoa had been forgotten.
So again, together with Reina, we began the process of learning to make Tablets in a very traditional way, grinding the cocoa in the community mill in Santa Tecla; very artisan work. After a year of hard work and much learning, the Tablet would eventually turn into a delicious chocolate bar allowing us to enter the world of bean-to-bar with single origin cacao.
At that time we had to find a name for our brand and it is just when my daughter at that time of five years began to read and write and to impress me she wrote her name for the very first time and said: ¨Look Mom, I can spell my name: ISABELU ¨. She had linked her name to the first letter of her last name. And thus the name of Belú arose.
Empower working women!
As are company grew, we needed extra help and Reina was having problems at home because her mother needed to work and could no longer take care of her six-year-old daughter, Astrid. Fortunately, the solution was to hire Mercedes (Reina’s mom) to bring her the roasted cocoa beans so she could hull them at home in her spare time when Astrid was at school. This has become her permanent source of income and Mercedes is now empowered to hire her own help in the winnowing process, still doing it in the comfort of her own home.
Last year, Nancy came to help in the store and in production when needed; during his free time she takes English lessons. What started as a desire to make delicious Salvadoran chocolate to give to our friends has become our cause. We have been able to create income-generating jobs for single mothers who not only face that challenge, but are also living in very difficult circumstances directly affected by gang violence. So if you want to make a difference and empower working women by buying delicious chocolate, choose Belú!
where does our cacao come from?
Making exceptional chocolate is our passion and has always been from day one. We are a family business located in El Salvador that has taken an ancestral Mesoamerican crop, cocoa, and transformed it into a delicious experience that takes us back to the basic and true flavor of single-origin cocoa.
We believe in artisan production and healthy living. Our chocolates are handcrafted in small batches to preserve the quality of each bar, using two basic ingredients: high quality cocoa beans and brown cane sugar.
We believe that we can share our origins with the world by working fairly with producers and artisans. We are committed to being part
of social change in our country one chocolate bar at a time!
Belú Cacao El Salvador
We believe that we can share our origins with the world by working fairly with producers and artisans. We are committed in being part of social change one chocolate bar at a time!
Our online store currently ships exclusively in El Salvador, but we're working to expand our borders.