Africa produces more than 70% of the world’s cocoa but the $100 billion chocolate industry is dominated by Western companies. African companies that try to have a taste of the market, use local cocoa but import milk powder and sugar. Multinationals mass produce chocolate and source ingredients globally. But these eight female chocolatiers are carving out a niche in the chocolate industry dominated by big global players.
Africans export cash crops such as coffee, cocoa, rubber, and others rather than processing and making something beneficial and profitable out of it. Looking at the rate at which cocoa bean is processed in Africa to produce chocolate, these eight female chocolatiers have decided to bring Africa to the forefront as producers of quality and luxurious chocolate brands.
1. Selassie Atadika
Selassie Atadika is a Ghanaian chocolatier who is sending people flying with her truffles. She is the owner of the brand, Midunu that represents the taste of Africa in a truffle form. Her truffles are a chef-scripted love story to the African continent in every bite.
These truffles carry the names of different African women who have inspired the truffles. Selassie got her inspiration after having a tour throughout Africa. According to her, she is reproducing and presenting Africa’s beauty to the world in the form of Ghanaian-made chocolates.
She works with a small team of young women who are working relentlessly to make the Midumu brand stand out. Just as every young entrepreneur will want to expand, Selassie hopes to move from a chocolatier to bean-to-bar chocolate making (the process of making chocolate from dried cocoa beans)
2. Chiinga Musonda and Lynn Musonda Phiri
Chiinga Musonda and Lynn Musonda Phiri are founders of Savanna Premium Chocolate. It takes passion, determination, goal and focus to build any successful business or brand. It is with such determination that these two amazing ladies came out with their own artisan chocolate brand, Savanna Premium Chocolate.
According to the founders of Savanna Premium Chocolates, they use carefully selected single origin beans to make the chocolates in order to preserve the flavours of Zambia. The goal is to pioneer the making of premium quality chocolate in that country. This is also a means to support Zambia’s economy and African farmers.
3. Nathalie Gambah Kpante
Nathalie Gambah Kpante is a passionate entrepreneur helping to build a high impact cocoa value chain in Togo. Entrepreneurs solve problems in the community they find themselves in.
Realizing that Togo transports 100% of its cocoa while the country isn’t having a favourable economy, Nathalie Ganbah Kpante decided to turn the story around. Together with her company, Choco Togo, she is making history in the country as she gets involved in a bean-to-bar chocolate to foster economic growth and development in the country. Choco Togo is the first company to process cocoa in Togo.
4. Dana Mroueh
Dana Mroueh is the founder of Monchoco, an Ivorian company that is giving value to Côte d’Ivoire’s cocoa beans. She is an artisan chocolatier who produces raw African chocolate brand and range of products through her company.
According to Mroueh, the company makes raw chocolate to preserve taste and natural nutrients derived from the cocoa beans. They want to enhance the Ivorian ‘somewhereness’, its culture not leaving the farmers out. The company intends to expand to other parts of Africa.
5. Kimberly and Priscilla Addison
Kimberly and Priscilla Addison are two Ghanaian sisters making rounds in the bean to bar chocolate production sector in Ghana. With their brand ‘57 Chocolate, they have as mission, to show that Africa can also produce quality and luxurious chocolate brands.
The two sisters derived their brand name ‘57 Chocolate from the year Ghana gained its independence, 1957. A year of change and industrial revolution in the country of Kofi Annan. Founded in 2016, ‘57 is the pioneer chocolate company in Ghana. Nonetheless, both sisters intend to inspire the population of Ghana especially youths to develop, create and promote homemade goods of high quality and value.
6. Femi Oyedipe
Femi Oyedipe is the lady behind Loshechocolates, the made-in-Nigeria chocolate brand. In 2015 she founded Loshecholates with the aim of helping Nigeria exploit the chocolate production opportunities in the country.
Africa produces and exports the largest quantity of cocoa. Yet, those having the largest production shares of chocolate are western countries, like the USA. Thus, to benefit from such a rich market, she founded Loshechoclates to produce Nigerian made chocolates.
It isn’t a day’s job to succeed as an entrepreneur. However, determination, passion, hard work and most importantly, patience are key to these female chocolatiers successes.EN FR