WHY WE ADMIRE SHATTELL CHOCOLATE
I first heard of Shattell and Lisi Montoya’s incredible story from an event led by Maricel Presilla and the Fine Chocolate Industry Association on Latin American Women Leaders in Fine Chocolate. Lisi’s story of all that she had to overcome to become Peru's first female bean-to-bar chocolate maker captured me. As you will read, she has a hearty disregard for the “impossible.” Lisi founded her factory in 2009 and went on to become the first Latin American Woman to receive Overall Winner in 2017 at the International Chocolate Awards just 8 years later.
After learning more of her story in writing preparing this blog, I also realized her work and reputation had preceded her in my own life. Lisi is the chocolate maker behind the Rokbar (Netherlands) Kimbiri bar. This bar is reputed to be the first bar on the European market that is 100% made and owned by women. And a bar I have wanted to try since hearing about it in early 2020. While we still don’t have access to that particular bar here in the US, we can taste the maker!
Read on in Lisi’s own words after ordering her award-winning, organic bars made from famed Chuncho Cacao beans and organic, Peruvian ingredients…
HOW SHATTELL EMPOWERS WOMEN
Means to Educate the Next Generation
I realize that when you empower women, your help them to improve their families’ lifestyles. So, since beginning Shattell, I decided to hire women to work with me. Most of them had no education at all, but now their kids do.
Creating Chocolate by Women for Women
We have a partnership with Rokbar in the Netherlands. We make chocolates with their brand and part of the income of sales of the chocolate bars goes back to help the community of Cacao Vrae.
I have visited several [growing] communities and invite them to come to our factory too. I teach women how to make their own chocolates, especially for drinking chocolate, to increase their incomes. Women really do great job improving their lifestyles - we always choose to work with women.
Paying a Triple Premium for Quality
We pay the farmers 3 times more for their beans, because they separate the finest beans and make all the process separately from regular beans. Learn more in our video (4 min 30 sec).
There are several producers of Chuncho beans, but I have been working this this co-op for more than 7 years, helping them to improve their post-harvest process, which allowed us to win 5 Gold Medals and the Best Chocolate Bar in competition in London 2017 in the International Chocolate Awards.
HOW LISI WAS AND IS EMPOWERED
Partnership and Perseverance
Alfredo my husband, he trusted in my dream and give me all that I needed to make it possible.
When I decided to make my own chocolate, there was no institute to teach me how to make it in Peru, so I had to go to Cuba to study. There were no machines to make chocolate - I had to go to Argentina to buy my first ball mill and I was the first woman in my country to work bean to bar.
For dark plain chocolate, we use only cocoa beans and sugar. The less ingredients, the better the quality of chocolate (unless you add superfoods to this recipe). It was very hard at the beginning that people accept to eat a 70% dark chocolate, because we were used to eating very sweet chocolate candies. But now that has changed and I feel part of that change.
ABOUT SHATTELL CHOCOLATE
Shattell is an artisan chocolate factory in Pachacamac, Peru. We make single origin chocolate bars with Chuncho cacao, a native Peruvian wonderful cacao. Please visit our website to learn more about our story.