We are Salomé Trip-Wagenhuis and Ian Wagenhuis and we are very passionate about our business.
We both have roots in the non-profit world and educational tourism, which we decided to combine with our passion for chocolate and spices.
Salomé her family is from the Spice islands (Moluccan islands) and Ian his grandmother used to have a chocolate shop in Amsterdam. This lead to Cacao & Spice!
Both of us worked in the non-profit world, we met while working on a joint project with indigenous peoples. For years we have had a reforestation project in Brasil in Bahia, called Terra Nossa. We helped certain communities of the Pataxò tribe set up their own tree orchards an reforestation programs in the Atlantic rainforest.
Photo: tree orchard
During our work we noticed how certifications are often used to stretch the lines, to greenwash and sometimes even to cover up.
So five years ago when we opened Cacao & Spice, we decided to do it different. We were horrified by finding out that FairTrade chocolate is connected to monocultures, deforestation and child slavery.
This is how we chose for Direct trade and Single origin chocolate: Super transparent trade, chocolate where no trees are cut down for, and farmers are paid far above the fair trade price.
It became our mission to show the world that good dark chocolate is not bitter, but has all different flavor notes, from fruity to nutty and even spices. And with chocolate you can do a world of good: a chocolate company can be regenerative, invest in nature preservation, community building, into the empowerment of women. There is still so much to discover!
Photo: Matias Pataxó with cacao from the Terra Nossa reforestation project
Not only is the taste and the story behind all our chocolates good, we were also able to connect our chocolates to reforestation. In 2021 we planted over 4500 trees, through the reforestation projects of Original Beans, with the help of our loyal customers and many companies.
You are welcome to come by our shop in Amsterdam's old city center!
We love telling stories about Amsterdam, the biggest cacao harbor in the world, the people behind the chocolates and all the projects that are connected to our chocolate.
We do this through our very popular tours & chocolate tastings and virtual (corporate) events, which we combine with history and a lot of love.
We hope to share our love for our amazing chocolates -and all the stories behind it- with you!