It is almost impossible to give an opinion about the quality of a chocolate bar, as well as it is a good wine, without having tasted it. That is why we, the Club ChoKolate’s team, decided to go to the Castronovo Chocolate’s factory, located in the State of Florida, United States. We knew that the only way of proving the quality and excellence of its bean-to-bar product was in a tasting.
Denise Castronovo, owner of the place and Ph.D. in Ecology, became interested in making chocolate through her research about tree canopies. She discovered that the cocoa’s harvest was beneficial for the jungle ecosystem. During the visit she told us that the cocoa harvested in Chuao, Venezuela is “wow! Like an overcharge of chocolate” for her. What a pleasant surprise!
The welcome to the factory was full of scents and tastes. Just by walking into the place, the scent is so delicious that you start to feel the Castronovo chocolate melt in your mouth even without having tasted it. From the samples located at the entrance, we tried the milk chocolate awarded with a silver medal on the International Chocolate Awards 2015, the Sierra Nevada 63%. While I had it in my mouth, I walked around the place and noticed the diplomas awarded to this chocolatier hanging on the walls. “Everything happened fast, we only have 2 to 3 years here,” said Castronovo.
According to Ivy Lee, founder and specialist in modern public relations, the transparency, and openness of an organization is vital to achieving the client’s loyalty. I felt that in Castronovo they know how to put in practice this theory to perfection. For example, the kitchen is in plain view. We were able to observe from outside how they made and wrapped the product. It gave us the impression, from what we were able to see, that the process to make the chocolate is quite handcrafted.
One of the things that caught our attention was the way in which the chocolate is wrapped. Typically, when you open a chocolate bar, it must be turned to see the brand or the pattern in the chocolate bar. Well, the Castronovo chocolate is wrapped “faced up.” According to Denise, all the effort is made, so the client is comfortable.
Castronovo's chocolates exceed expectations. But not just that, it is a brand created to protect the environment. One of its long-term goals is to collaborate responsibly with the ecosystem and the environment. She told us “we already help when buying the beans directly from the ones who cultivate them.” On this regard, and when it comes to the relation quality-price, we can say that the offer is fair. Each chocolate bar costs between $8-10, the usual price for a bar of this level of quality. In Club ChoKolate we believe that it is worth to pay for the sensation of tasting a good chocolate.
The Castronovo factory is a place to go and eat chocolate made in the United States of America with cocoa beans of excellent quality produced in several regions of Latin America. You will enjoy delicious chocolates comparable with the best European, Ecuadorian or Venezuelan chocolates. Besides, is a gorgeous place where you can share family time.
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Carmen T. Izquierdo
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