The magic that happens when love guides the heart's intentions
Elissa Verdillo always had a love for the powers of cacao and plant-based medicine. She spent many years immersing herself in the study of cacao and other sacred plants in Mexico and is delighted to now have the pleasure of offering her knowledge and love gained through this experience to the people of the world. The form that this love has taken, is a chocolate that simply touches peoples souls.
Elissa Verdillo has been making chocolate for 14 years, and learned her craft through her time spent in Central America and Southern Mexico, steeped in the traditions and culture of the original chocolatiers, the Maya. She realized that the union of cacao and honey, while unique in the world of commercially produced chocolates, was one of the original combinations used by the Maya for thousands of years. When her daughter’s first word was “Cacao”, she knew she had found a calling for her family. About this experience, Elissa says, "We are all Messengers if we just listen closely." In the spirit of uniting the past with the future, she created her original chocolates, and began selling them at markets and events in Palenque, Chiapas.
Elissa moved to Arcata, CA in 2009 ready to use her knowledge and experience working with cacao. She was further inspired by Humboldt food culture and began to create what is now Cacao Cocoon Chocolate. Elissa has been producing and distributing her chocolate locally since 2011, and in 2012, she teamed up with her partner Zach. Together they have continued to perfect Elissa’s recipes, build the business, and raise three daughters, making Cacao Cocoon a true “mom and pop” with a dedicated local following. In 2017, Elissa and Zach facilitated every aspect of a successful rebranding of Cacao Cocoon including designing a new logo, packaging, personalized molds, and website. Also in 2017, Cacao Cocoon expanded its local distribution from four to nine stores, and in 2018 began our first regular open market appearances at Eureka Friday Night Market.
Cacao Cocoon’s vision for the future is to continue to serve our community, while expanding our distribution throughout California, the greater Pacific Northwest and beyond. The purpose of Cacao Cocoon Chocolate is transforming the world, one silky honey-spun taste at a time.