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the chocolatier

Chocolatier joins traditional peoples and creates authentic Amazonian chocolate


Meet the chocolatier César De Mendes and learn how the idea of creating a totally sustainable business that contributes to the transformation of the lives of the traditional peoples of the Amazon came about

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Credits: Rogério Assis / ISA

Tradition, history, culture of the peoples of the forest and socio-environmental integrity became the ingredients of the recipe that César De Mendes created to create an incredible chocolate with Amazonian terroir made from the region's native cocoa. And this intense and striking flavor is even more special for the founder of the company, since chocolate refers to his origins and his affective memory. Learn about the history of this chocolatier who made cooking an art and cocoa a tool for social and environmental transformation.


The son of a quilombola mother and a riverine father, with Jewish and Moroccan ancestry, César De Mendes was born in Macapá, capital of the state of Amapá. He moved with his family to Belém when he was still a child and his first memories with chocolate come from the capital of Pará. The chocolatier still has vivid memories of his grandmother and mother making cocoa juice and chocolate with the fruit they picked from the tree themselves. However, the passion for chocolate only really became his profession years later. César initially chose an academic career in the areas of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. Researcher and university professor, he has five specializations and two master's degrees in Natural Product Chemistry and Food Technology.

Throughout his professional career, César has also worked as a project consultant and has had the opportunity to get to know different cultures and realities when traveling throughout the country. A born entrepreneur, he developed several projects and initiatives related to the cocoa production chain before moving to Colônia Chicano, a riverside and quilombola community in Santa Bárbara do Pará, and founding the Chocolates De Mendes factory.

Intellectual and studious, owner of an unsettling mind and eager for knowledge, César focused on research on cocoa and chocolate, production processes, new technologies, among many other related subjects. Studying, exchanging and learning is a daily mantra for César, who has read more than ten thousand books, but still applies theory to practice, always looking to rethink, reflect and question his concepts, beliefs and learning, in addition to sharing his knowledge. . Genuinely and deeply concerned with the conservation and preservation of nature, biodiversity and the cultural and historical wealth of the traditional peoples of the Amazon, it has been, over the years of study, coexistence and exchange with local communities, completely transforming its perspective. on the cocoa production chain.

Living in the small town of Pará, César not only reconnected with his roots, his values and essence, but also built and developed a strong and deep connection with the local communities. In search of native cocoa, the chocolatier ventured on several expeditions through the Amazon, getting to know and experiencing the reality and way of life of different traditional populations such as indigenous peoples, quilombolas, riverside dwellers, caboclos and family farmers. These experiences, exchanges andlearnings marked and transformed César's life, directly and substantially influencing the production method at his factory: a sustainable model that respects nature and partner communities, in which cocoa is a powerhouse of local biodiversity. The result of this very special recipe is a premium chocolate that links the knowledge of the chocolatier with the knowledge of the people of the forest. All bars are the result of the values of the communities involved in the production and referenced by territories with different biomes that reflect the very special taste of De Mendes products.

Credits: Business Insider
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Credits: Coi Belluzzo /  ISA

In these partnerships, César established with each of the people he works with a relationship of interaction, involvement, exchange, learning and connection of great depth and meaning. A bond of such reciprocity and respect that it always moves him. In theory, it is César “the teacher” who teaches and trains his partners to supply the raw materials for their chocolates, but in practice, he is the one who learns from the stories, cultural roots, ancestral knowledge, identity, values , the essence and wisdom of each of these peoples.

"It is this wealth of culture, ancestral knowledge and history that our bars carry and want to tell. De Mendes has a great desire and sense of urgency to contribute to people's quality of life, to the preservation of culture and identity of the people who live in the Amazon, as well as to keep the forest standing, crucial for the climate balance of our planet” , values that César always shows when telling his story that is reflected in the purpose of the company he created.

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And this is one of the reasons why the chocolate made by De Mendes is so unique and special. Its production is entirely artisanal and its work is based on the selection of native cocoa with sensory excellence and on the preparation of fine cocoa through the training of these different communities. These partnerships represent the true essence of Chocolates De Mendes and are reflected in the flavor and quality of all its products.

De Mendes recognizes the value of these peoples and territories. Based on their deep knowledge and strong relationship with the land, these communities select cocoa and cupuaçu beans to meet the high degree of sensory excellence required by the Factory's production. All are trained by César himself to work in the harvesting, selection, breaking, fermentation and drying of the almonds. The chocolatier is concerned with sharing his knowledge, so that it is retained at the origin of the production chain and perfected by the local peoples themselves.

With an easy and contagious smile, César always has a story to tell or some learning to share. His good humor, his sympathy, lightness and simplicity with which he sees life allied to his seriousness, dedication, commitment and professionalism make him such a rare, remarkable and charming person.

With his attentive, present and curious look, his sincere, transparent and friendly speech, his humble, charismatic and captivating way, César moves through these different realities, cultures and peoples in a unique and differentiated way. He is respected and accepted, often seen as part of the family and certainly a friend wherever he goes.pass, because it carries with it and transmits, in addition to knowledge and wisdom of life, docility, sensitivity and purity in its intentions and interactions. After all, wherever she goes, she wants to know, she wants to exchange, she wants to teach and also learn, she wants to care, she wants to transform and improve, but with a deep understanding of the importance of conserving and preserving.

Experience the taste of a chocolate that has history, culture and sustainability as its main ingredients. Click here and access our Virtual Store with unique flavors from the Amazon.

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