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Interview: Samuel Maruta, Co-Founder of Marou Chocolate

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“Just because nobody’s told you you could, doesn’t mean you can’t.”

-Samuel Maruta, Co-Founder of Marou Chocolate

January 2021 note: I’ve just gotten word that Sam has passed away. He’ll be sorely miss by all those who had the pleasure of meeting him, and having him in their lives in one way or another. Rest in Peace.

Samuel Maruta was the co-founder of Marou Chocolate, a craft chocolate company based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Since its founding in 2011, Marou has worked directly with Vietnamese cocoa farmers to source the seven cacao origins they work with. Two shops and nearly nine years later, the company is still going strong, and serving as an inspiration for other up-and-coming chocolate brands based at-origin.

So what inspired Sam & his business partner to start Vietnam’s first craft chocolate company? How has their business had an impact on the ground? In the interview, we dig into the company mindset at Marou, Vietnamese agriculture, and how quickly the country is changing. I hope you enjoy listening to our conversation as much as I enjoyed having it.

Note that Vietnam was the topic of my interview with Sam, with the end product being the podcast episode on Vietnamese cacao & chocolate.

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Sam (left) with his business partner, Vincent Mourou.

Topics We Cover

  • what prompted him & business partner Vincent Mourou to start Marou back in 2011
  • the evolution of Vietnamese bean to bar chocolate, from the history of cacao in the country
  • local perception of Vietnam-made chocolate
  • artisanal goods as made by artisans or laypeople
  • how chocolate making hacks have changed the industry’s scale
  • the push to plant more cacao in Vietnam following the wave of success with coffee, and the socio-environmental impact of that
  • cacao cultivating regions of Vietnam, and the differences with those of neighboring countries

Connect With Samuel & Marou

Marou Chocolate’s Website.

Marou Chocolate on Instagram

Marou Chocolate on Facebook,

Find where to buy Marou Chocolate near you

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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