"Every farmer that we started with [in 2011], we are still working with."-Vincent Mourou, Marou Chocolate
Vincent Mourou is widely recognized as one of the first craft chocolate makers in Asia. He's one of the co-founders of Marou Chocolate, a value-added chocolate factory established in 2011 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The company now works with farmers in six provinces in the south of the country, plus the rare single farm bar. They've inspired countless chocolate makers across Asia and the world to start their own value-added chocolate businesses in their own countries.
I was lucky enough to interview Vincent for the Cacao Brands episode of my podcast when we were both in Tokyo for a chocolate festival. But he gave such a good & concise interview that it was an easy choice to share it here in its entirety. We dig into how he & Sam started Marou, began sourcing cacao, and continued to grow their relationships with farmers. I hope you enjoy listening to our conversation as much as I enjoyed having it.
Note that the topic of cacao sourcing plays heavily in my questions thanks to the podcast episode for which I was interviewing Vincent.
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Vincent & one of his employees at the Craft Chocolate Market in Tokyo, Japan, where I conducted this very interview.
Topics We Cover
- How Vincent and his business partner decided on working with cacao
- The first origins Marou decided to work with, and how they connected with local farmers
- Terroir realizations in relation to Vietnamese cacao through the lens of French wine
- Learning about cacao farming from the beginning of their chocolate making journey, with a visiting German agronomist
- Working with local farmers and establishing & maintaining rapport with them over the years
- Branding origins vs. just naming the origin's location
- When a big shift occurred in craft chocolate
Connect With Vincent
Marou Chocolate's Website.
Marou Chocolate on Instagram
Marou Chocolate on Facebook,
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.