Our Story


Captain’s Chocolate Company began with an Alaskan Salmon Fisherman who wanted a warm winter. That led him eventually to building a house in the Costa Rican mountains where he met Joel Sanchez, a Louisiana missionary turned Costa Rican beef farmer. Being the kind of guys they are, they had both become involved with local life and the indigenous tribes. Seeing that the tribes were having a difficult time financially spurred Captain Mark to come up with the idea of starting a chocolate factory. 

In the previous years, the local tribes had endured a fungus on their cacao trees that destroyed many orchards. At the same time, the local bean buyer slashed the price to well below market price. Getting their crop to market meant going down dangerous mountain roads in less-than-ideal conditions. In order to solve these challenges, Captain Mark purchased 10,000 seedlings for the tribes, distributing them to anyone who wanted to farm cacao. Once the trees started producing, Captain Mark started buying those beans, and currently pays the farmers well above fair trade prices (almost double!) To solve the issue of getting the beans to market, Captain Mark purchased a truck and started a pickup route, so that the farmers don’t have to worry about delivery. Now, even the smallest farmer can sell beans to Captain’s Chocolate.

Wanting to have consistent high quality, Mark and Joel decided to build their own processing plant. Captain Mark purchased a piece of land containing an old restaurant foundation where he built the processing plant and an apartment for our employee, Robeen, and his family. When the processing plant was built, the real work began. Joel and Mark worked long grueling hours building all of the necessary equipment, such as drying sheds, fermenting boxes, and our own bean roaster.

During this time, Mark’s sister Sarah heard about the chocolate project and joined the team. Sarah started work on the current chocolate production facility and retail store in the heart of the Wisconsin countryside. Using the nibs from Costa Rica Sarah creates the chocolate and handles the retail and wholesale selling side of Captain’s. Between the production facility in Costa Rica and the one in Wisconsin, our chocolate is created entirely by Captain’s Chocolate. This is truly single source, bean to bar, and farm to table chocolate.

 

We hope you love every bite.