Elemental Chocolate of Raleigh makes chocolate treats featuring the whole peeled organic cocoa bean. Owner and inventor Paul Mosca “needed to reach beyond the ordinary.” He invented a method for removing the cocoa bean shell and keeping it intact, a feat others said was impossible. These special whole, peeled beans are covered in dark chocolate and sold as Elemental Chocolate.
Elemental Chocolate sources cocoa directly and fairly from co-ops in South America, particularly Ecuador and Peru. The cocoa farmers are important to flavor and quality, so Elemental’s import model uses direct trade partnerships with farm co-ops, following in the footsteps of neighboring companies like Counter Culture Coffee. They partnered with FONMSEOAM in Ecuador for two years, importing cocoa and purchasing at a rate above the commodities exchange rate. In 2012, they branched out and created a collaboration with French Broad Chocolate and Cacao Atlanta. The three companies studied cocoa beans from Peru and jointly negotiated prices and shared import transportation costs. They controlled third-party expenses, improved quality, and paid a fair commodity price.