Moku Chocolate - Philomath, OR

Maureen Nikaido's chocolate adventures began with the sponsorship of a child in Nicaragua in 2006 and a subsequent visit to the country years later. This led Maureen to learn first-hand about the long history and rich cultural traditions behind chocolate. While in Granada, she visited the ChocoMuseo and rapidly fell in love with idea of making chocolate from scratch - bean-to-bar. She was especially interested in the “who” behind chocolate - the hard working, small family farmers who grow and harvest the beans. She made her first chocolate bar in the fall of 2019, and saw her first live cacao tree on a trip to Belize with Dandelion Chocolate in 2020. Maureen became certified as a chocolate maker through Ecole Chocolate and founded Moku Chocolate in Philomath, Oregon in 2020.

Maureen was just starting Moku Chocolate when she heard the International Chocolate Awards competition was taking chocolate submissions. While her business was barely off the ground, she decided to enter her 60% Goat Milk Bar made with cacao beans from Sierra Nevada, Colombia. Her effort and ambition paid off! She won two International Chocolate Awards in 2020: One Gold (US) and one Silver (Americas) for her 60% Goat Milk Bar.

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