The beginning of the project
From 2004 to 2006 we (Ulrike Bongartz and Alex Gareiss) lived and worked for two years in Macas, a small town in the Amazone province of Morona-Santiago in Ecuador.
Soon we got to know some members of the APPOS and also the association itself. Their enthusiasm for the cocoa quickly infected us and together we developed the first products: the cocoa nibs and the hot chocolate. In the beginning, these products were processed in a small “chocolate-mill” in the Andes, in Ambato. A market for the products in Quito, the capital, was quickly opened up, and interest was shown from Europe.
With the aid of the German Development Service (ded) and a donation by the Schmitz-Hille foundation in Germany, the APPOS was able to mount their own processing unit for the above-mentioned products.
While already bringing on the way the APPOS project, we were able to establish first contacts with the Hacienda Bosque de Oro.
To optimize marketing and distribution in Europe, Bouga CacaO was founded in 2006 in Germany and moved to Foix in France in 2007.
Since we moved to the Ariège Bouga CacaO has changed a lot. 2009 we started to produce our own chocolats, in the beginning with the help of a local chocolatier and using his workshop, since 2011 in our own workshop in the little hamlet of Mouragues within the commune of Foix. Our chocolates sell more and more at local shops and supermarkets.
In the end of 2012 we started the project of organic and fairtrade certification, which succeeded in the launch of our organic fairtrade product line in november 2013.