Richard Lauret, an agronomist and agri-food engineer by training, opened his Bean To Bar chocolate shop in 2020. Here, he sums up his adventure.

Photos: Margot Valatchy
LAURET Richard, an agronomist and agri-food engineer by training, opened his Bean To Bar chocolate shop in 2020.

Chocolaterie Bean To Bar” is an Anglicism meaning “from beans to bar”. It’s an artisanal chocolate production movement that emerged in the West in the early 2000s, the idea being to produce high-quality, ethical and healthy chocolate sourced directly from farmers and farmers’ groups.
For my part, it was during the gap year of my engineering studies that I discovered cocoa tree fields in Brazil during a 6-month internship, then the Bean to Bar movement in Vietnam with farmers and within an artisanal chocolate manufacturing company. I really fell in love with this profession and it was in 2020 that I decided to open this famous Bean to Bar chocolate factory in Saint Pierre, more precisely in the old Grand Bois district.
In my workshop, I work with several types of cocoa beans:

– Beans from small farmers in Madagascar, which allow me to create bars with notes of yellow fruit, red fruit or honey, depending on the three plantations I work with.

– Beans from the Dominican Republic, which allow me to obtain chocolates with notes of plum and smoked tobacco.

– Beans from a Ghanaian cooperative, with which I produce 100% cocoa bars: very rich in chocolate, but surprisingly mild and bitter, to the delight of those who don’t eat sugar.

All my bars are produced in a healthy, artisanal way, with no added preservatives, flavourings… In short, no additives.
Today, we’re the only ones on the island to make what we call exceptional chocolate from quality beans grown on agroforestry and organic plantations.
Last year, we obtained AB certification, making us the first company in Reunion to offer AB-certified chocolate.

Article taken from JDA 11 published last April.