Before you taste a bar of To’ak chocolate, there’s something you ought to know.
Our story effectively dates all the way back to 5,300 years ago in Ecuador.
This all came crashing down around 1916.
By the early 2000s, this famed cacao variety—known as Ancient Nacional—was believed to be extinct.
In 2013, a young Ecuadorian chocolate company called To’ak—co-founded by a rainforest conservationist who lived in the area—identified a remnant of 100-year-old cacao trees in the valley of Piedra de Plata in coastal Ecuador.
DNA tests, conducted in partnership with the Heirloom Cacao Preservation Fund, later confirmed these trees to be 100% pure Ancient Nacional.
Since then, To’ak and its rainforest conservation partner, TMA (Third Millennium Alliance), have grafted and reproduced hundreds of these trees in a miniature “Noah’s Ark” plantation in the Jama-Coaque Ecological Reserve in Ecuador.
From this genetic bank, thousands of pure Ancient Nacional cacao trees have been reproduced and distributed to local farmers as part of a regenerative agroforestry and rainforest restoration project.
We just wanted to share that with you. Thank you for listening. Please, enjoy your chocolate!