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Interview: Emily Stone, Co-Founder Of Uncommon Cacao

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“Craft chocolate is still such a small industry that it’s very rare that one, or even five craft chocolate makers would be able to purchase the entire harvest of one origin… they need the stability of a buyer who can bring on the cacao from the harvest as it’s coming out, as it’s ready to ship, even if some of those specific individual chocolate makers aren’t ready for it, yet.”

-Emily Stone, co-founder of Uncommon Cacao

Emily Stone has become an important figure in the global cacao industry. In 2010 she co-founded Maya Mountain Cacao in southern Belize, while just a few years later, demand brought her to Guatemala, where her team founded Cacao Verapaz. Over the years, Uncommon Cacao has expanded to include cacao from 14 origins around the world (as of publication), bringing fine cacao to chocolate makers of all sizes.

I had the honor of interviewing Emily just after New Year’s for the Cacao Brands episode of my podcast. She’s such a well-spoken and knowledgeable figure that I knew I had to share our interview in its entirety. I hope you enjoy listening to our conversation as much as I enjoyed having it.

Note that the topic of cacao branding plays heavily in my questions thanks to the podcast episode for which I was interviewing Emily.

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Emily with a local village head in Ghana, where Uncommon sources one of their cacao origins, many of which are cacao brands.

Topics We Cover

  • Emily’s pet peeves in chocolate & cacao
  • Some recent inspirations Emily’s found in the industry
  • How Emily defines a cacao brand & Branding 101
  • The role of middle(wo)men in the cacao supply chain
  • Cacao Brands’ first origin
  • Specialty cacao exploding & outpacing the specialty chocolate market
  • Advice for anyone looking to start a cacao brand
  • The number of farmers Uncommon works with
  • Price differences between Uncommon’s many origins & the reasons behind those differences
  • The challenges of building a business and its industry simultaneously

Connect With Emily

Uncommon Cacao’s Website.

Uncommon Cacao on Instagram

Uncommon Cacao on Facebook,

Shop Uncommon Cacao

Connect With Chocolate On The Road

On Instagram: @chocolateontheroad

On Facebook: @chocolateontheroad

Show music is Roadtrip by Phil Reavis, and our transition music is We’re Gonna Be Around by People Like Us & Sweet Dreams by Lobo Loco.

To listen to the previous episode, click here.

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