Our Project

The project was born to promote Fino de Aroma cocoa from Juan Rafael's family estate, Finca Cuyancùa ( El Salvador ).

Over time our project has further evolved, and has also involved other cocoa producers who embraced our same values, such as regenerative and sustainable cultivation, respecting the environment and the people who work there with such dedication and mastery every day.

El Salvador has a thousand-year history with cocoa. For this reason, we want to bring to light the cultural importance that cocoa had in our country and throughout Mesoamerica , a culture largely lost due to brutal Spanish colonialism; dark years in which the original peoples were repressed and opposed, creating social problems that are still present in the region. 

We wish to bring people closer again to "the cosmic cocoa tree" and raise their awareness of the importance of preserving the Mesoamerican culture around what is recognized more or less by all the original peoples of this region, as a sacred tree, with a high commercial value and also spiritual. 

Among our objectives there is also that of enhancing the "medicinal" properties of cocoa, creating products processed to a minimum and handcrafted on a small scale in a transparent way.

We believe that we can contribute to building a better world by overcoming the current trade models dictated by industry, where cocoa is treated as a "commodity", whose prices are decided on the New York and London stock exchanges, in favor of multinationals capable of influence price trends, giving rise to speculative models that do nothing but generate poverty and inequality in producing countries. This model is harmful for us, against every ethical principle, and our project represents a fight against this decades-long mentality which has only generated social and environmental poverty in some countries in Africa and Latin America, marking what is defined as "the dark side of chocolate".

With Vaicacao, we are committed to creating relationships of trust with people who decide to believe in us for more transparent cocoa and chocolate products, valuing every person involved from the beginning. Our values ​​are based on environmental and social sustainability, as well as business ethics, to ensure a better future for our land and future generations. For every transaction we put our face on it, just as a sign of disruption from the global commercial chocolate industry. 


Juan Rafael has had a very long relationship with cocoa since 2009, and this is a cornerstone of our relationship with cocoa and the territory. Our project aims to create positive impacts for those who care for cocoa plantations, not only in El Salvador but throughout Central America. We do this through traceability, better communication, the use of appropriate modern post-harvest systems, the production of high-quality cocoa and the transmission of higher than market prices, including fair trade prices . Once we import the cocoa from the plantations of El Salvador, we transform it into "cocoa nibs", "ceremonial cocoa" and "bean to bar chocolate". This means that we personally take care of the transformation of the cocoa beans into final products, which are minimally processed and of high quality.


Simplicity is among our best qualities, together with the fact that we are the first short Italian-Salvadoran cocoa supply chain, with a 2.0 family project. which aims to improve current agricultural processes, to make room for new and advanced techniques through the use of modern agricultural technology and knowledge.


We at VAICACAO have our own cocoa processing laboratory in Olbia, Sardinia, where we are the only ones to directly transform cocoa beans into delicious products. Here, we use artisanal techniques to process the cocoa, such as stone grinding, which allows us to obtain each production batch as unique and to preserve the natural aromatic notes of each type of cocoa. Our products, including ceremonial cocoa and bean-to-bar chocolate, do not undergo any conching process. 


Mesoamerica is the cradle of cocoa. Here cocoa was "adopted" for the first time by the Olmecs, an ancient people who prospered in what is today Mexico from 2000-1900 BC. According to scholars, cocoa was cultivated in a more systemic way since very ancient times in this region, then also appreciated by the ancient Maya, who considered it a sacred tree, and so by most of the native Mesoamerican peoples, as well as in current times.

It is from this region that our cocoa comes (if you want to know more, click here ). Cocoa also deserves its place and should be compared to wine: each origin, harvest, variety, post-harvest processes cause the flavor to change, creating a world of completely different aromas and flavors. This makes the cocoas we work with both from El Salvador and neighboring countries such as Guatemala, and Costa Rica and Mexico, specialty cocoa with high energy, nutritional and "medicinal" value.


Our chocolate line has a very short ingredient list. We are talking about two to a maximum of three ingredients, of which the third is an ingredient from the Sardinian territory or a functional ingredient.

We do not add cocoa butter, cocoa powder, soy lecithin or artificial flavors. To create them we only use unrefined and organic sugars. Industrialization in this sector has forced people to only know the standardization of flavors, and not to understand, appreciate and distinguish the quality of cocoa and more vibrant, less processed chocolates. 

Artisan businesses like ours ensure that better communication channels are created between those who produce and those who consume, that new flavors are rediscovered, that there is a better distribution of profits along the entire supply chain, that there is greater attention to the issues of environmental sustainability , avoiding unfair commercial practices adopted by large confectionery industries, practices that often involve inhumane working conditions, poor quality of cocoa and extensive environmental damage.


Our reality is oriented towards the least possible impact on production processes, breaking conventional business models. We pay close attention to the topic of packaging and packaging, in order to generate less environmental impact. We are always looking for new eco-friendly solutions, even better than the current ones, to offer increasingly sustainable products from an environmental point of view. 

Furthermore, waste is always separated and dutifully recycled as separate waste collection is mandatory in our municipality of residence. For example, in the waste cocoa husks are recycled into compost thanks to a valuable collaboration with a company that deals with this type of treatment of our territory. Aware that there is no such thing as zero impact, we do our best to have a reduced ecological footprint. 

However, more Theobroma Cacao trees are planted every year along with Forestry trees. All cocoa plantations are in agroforestry systems, capable of capturing more CO2 from the atmosphere than a monoculture, ensuring better management of water resources and greater protection for biodiversity.