Encuentro chocolat ("the meeting" in Spanish), was founded in 2012 by Candice and Antoine, great lovers of cocoa and chocolate. Candice & Antoine, in 2012 create a chocolate factory in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, Encuentro works in direct relationship with local cooperatives. In October 2016 Encuentro opens a small 20 m2 workshop in Montreuil on the outskirts of Paris. The choice is not to open a shop to put all the energy into the production of an award-winning high quality chocolate: Culinary College of France, Discovery Award at the 2018 Chocolate Fair, Award of the "25 Best of the Best" in 2019, Award Epicure d'Or 2019 and finally Epicure d'Or Premio 2020. In 2019 Encuentro opens the new factory in Lille, where a team of 10 people passionate about cocoa and chocolate work. Encuentro is a bean-to-bar chocolate producer, one of the few chocolatiers in France to produce chocolate using an artisanal “bean to bar” process. To get from the beans to the bar, 7 steps are required to give the Encuentro chocolate its creaminess and unique aromas. Making an artisanal bean to bar chocolate means selecting the best fermented and dried cocoa beans in the country of origin. Encuentro for producer its chocolate uses the beans of exceptional organic cocoa growers: Chuncho Ursayhua (Peru), harvested in the Quillabamba Valley by small independent farmers. Chuncho Urusayhua cocoa is among the finest and most complex cocoa in Peru. About 15 tons are harvested each year and few chocolate producers have the opportunity to process these beans. Öko Caribe (Dominican Republic), located in the San Francisco de Macoris region, Öko Caribe works closely with a small number of growers it supports in the development of their business. Products of the Islands SA (PISA) is located in northern Haiti near Cap Haitien. Created in 2014, this private facility has invested in adequate infrastructure (fermenters, dryers) to allow small local farmers to get the most out of their cocoa. Today it produces organic cocoa of excellent quality, paying a fair price to the growers. Asochivite (Guatemala). Through the business of Uncommon Cacao (founded by Emily Stone) Asochivite, a small association of ten growers, is developing gradually. They produce exceptional organic cocoa. Uncommon Cacao offers a model of absolute transparency on the remuneration of farmers, paying a fair price (more than 3 times the price of classic cocoa). Bejofo - Akesson Organic (Madagascar), Bertil Akesson's plantation, Bejofo, is located in northwestern Madagascar in the Sambirano valley. It produces exceptional organic cocoa. Emmoni (Bolivia) is the project of two passionate and energetic women: Casey and Caroline. It all starts with a small handful of beans belonging to Casey's family. In 2016, Casey and Caroline asked Michel Barel to evaluate the potential of these beans and to develop the most suitable fermentation and drying protocol. In addition to promoting wild cocoa that has been present in the forest for thousands of years, the Emmoni project allows farmers in the region to have another source of income. The Cacao Péi association (Reunion Island) is relaunching the completely abandoned cocoa cultivation on the island of Reunion. The Pèi cocoa beans are exceptional, they come from Criollo cocoa plants that have remained wild since their arrival on the island in the mid-18th century. Situated on one hectare of land with lush nature along a river, these wild cocoa trees offer only a few cabosse each year. In 2018, Simon and Hubert, the founders of Cacao Péi, entrusted Encuentro with only 4 kg of these rare beans, fermented directly on the plantation, to make a few dozen chocolate bars. The cocoa beans arrived in the Encuentro laboratory in Lille are hand-selected to eliminate the defective cocoa beans, Encuentro uses only the best cocoa beans to produce its chocolate! In an artisanal bean to bar process, roasting is the crucial step with which the chocolatier gives his chocolate its personality, a taste of its own. Encuentro toasts the cocoa beans with a wood-burning oven that allows for great precision and above all not to break the beans. It is during this phase that the precursors of the aromas created during fermentation will turn into aromas. There are thousands of them, specific to each bean and its terroir. For each of the origins, Encuentro tested numerous roasting profiles before selecting the one that best reveals the typical aromas of each bean. Once the beans have been roasted, they are crushed and then passed through a machine specially created by Encuentro to separate the cocoa nibs from the skins. The crushing of the cocoa beans is done with a machine composed of two huge granite wheels of 50 kg each that turn on a granite slab. The cocoa beans are crushed for several days. The cane sugar is added after several hours of grinding, when the beans have given way to the cocoa mass also called cocoa liqueur (100% chocolate indeed!). Conching takes place in the last hours of the process. It allows for rubbing and mixing of the chocolate with the wheels to further develop these aromas and to have a softer consistency. After concocting the chocolate, the Encuentro team keeps it (in the form of 5 kg blocks) for several months at room temperature. It is not immediately tempered. During this stage of maturation, the chocolate will evolve. The cocoa butter will migrate and collect into small balls (white spots). This will allow the tannins at the origin of many aromas to express themselves at their best for some, to disappear for others, and finally to give the Encuentro chocolate all its roundness, its harmony to the taste. Once maturation is complete, these blocks are melted to be tempered. Cocoa butter is an important and complex element. It has five crystalline forms, only one of which will give the chocolate its shiny appearance, its crunchiness and its stability over time. The tempering machine allows you to do this by passing the chocolate through a very precise temperature cycle that differs depending on the type of chocolate. Finally, you can pour the chocolate into the molds and shape it. Last step, but not least: the packaging! Each tablet is checked and then delicately wrapped by hand first in a golden aluminum foil and then in its final wrapping of paper.