The Ah Cacao Story

A love story...

The Ah Cacao dream began in 2002 with a visit to a cacao farm and the realization that very few chocolate lovers really know what chocolate it is and where it comes from. What if there was chocolate brand that shared the whole story? That chocolate is made from cacao, a plant. That cacao is good for you and the environment. That cacao has been cultivated with love by people in Mexico for at least 3,000 years and was highly valued by pre-hispanic cultures (even being used as money!).

The dream became reality 2004 when Ah Cacao was formally founded to help you bring joy to life with naturally delicious chocolate and coffee direct from family farms. The farmers you support when you enjoy chocolate and coffee from Ah Cacao, work to preserve the natural environment helping us reduce our impact on the planet. Ah Cacao's products are produced in a small solar-powered factory in Playa del Carmen, México, and can be purchased online, at Ah Cacao Chocolate Café stores, and many partner stores.

Our purpose

We bring joy to life sharing delicious natural experiences that are kind to the planet.

THE AH CACAO TIMELINE

2004

First Product, First Ah Cacao Chocolate Café

Ah Cacao's first product was a beautiful box of chocolates with a Maya theme and a pamphlet which shared the story of chocolate. Unfortunately we couldn't persuade any stores to buy it.

Annoyed at being unable to sell our first product through other stores, we decided the only solution was to open our own store and so with a deep breath we signed our first lease on a commercial space in Playa del Carmen and set about trying to build the Ah Cacao Chocolate Café concept.

2005

Ah Cacao in Xcaret and Xel-HÁ PARKS

The stores in Xcaret and Xel-há parks were the first to carry Ah Cacao chocolate bars, outside our own store. 

2008

Second and third stores

After a few tough years of learning how hard it is to operate a coffee shop, we felt ready to expand and opened two more stores (another in Playa del Carmen and one in Cancún)... just before the 2008 financial crisis!

2012

Socially responsable company award

With support from Xcaret, Ah Cacao is recognized as a "Socially responsable company" for our nature conservation efforts.

2013

A new factory and store number four

After a few more tough years learning how hard it is to operate multiple stores we felt ready to grow again and built a much larger factory (though still quite small) to produce our chocolates and desserts. The factory was built to be eco-friendly with 99 solar panels to cover it's electricity needs and natural ventilation instead of air conditioning in most of the building.

We also opened our largest store to date, in Playa del Carmen.

2016

Exporting to the U.S.

Thanks to a chance encounter with an executive from Natural Grocer's in the United States Ah Cacao begins exporting "no added sugar" cacao bars to 120 stores in the U.S.

2018

ah cacao in heb and soriana supermarkets

Ah Cacao chocolate bars are available in HEB and Soriana supermarkets.

2019

store number five

Our prettiest store to date opens on 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen, incorporating everything we've learned over the years with the hope of it becoming the model store for many more both in Mexico and abroad.

2020

surviving covid-19 AND two Hurricanes

Ah Cacao was deeply impacted by Covid-19 (and two hurricanes!) as the streets emptied and most of our income came from guests visiting our stores. Thanks to the resiliance of our great team, the loyalty of our customers, online sales, and the support of our creditors, we have been able to pull through the worst of the pandemic.

2021

online growth

Adjusting to the pandemic, the Ah Cacao website is rebuilt to share much more of the story and love behind Ah Cacao's products and make buying online even easier, so that many more chocolate and coffee lovers like you can experience the joy of natural treats direct from the farm.