The chocolatier bringing social change to Haiti

Corinne Joachim Sanon converted her grandfather’s house into a bean-to-bar chocolaterie and created jobs along the way.

Les Chocolateries Askanya, a chocolaterie founded by Corinne Joachim Sanon, is located in Ouanaminthe, a northeastern region of Haiti. Sanon converted her grandfather’s four-bedroom country house into a retrofitted chocolate factory that serves up chocolate bars in colourful wrapping.

The names of the chocolate bars are inspired by local wildlife and fauna, such as the bird of “Paradis”, a milk chocolate bar with 47% Haitian cacao and the “Wanga Negese”, the Creole word for hummingbird that also refers to a voodoo ritual that’s said to be a Haitian aphrodisiac.

The chocolate is made using Haitian cacao, which is rated among the top 15 in the international cacao market. Les Chocolateries Askanya is a bean-to-bar factory because every step of the chocolate making process is managed by the chocolatier.  

Sanon started Les Chocolateries Askanya to create sustainable jobs in Haiti. "I grew up middle class, but seeing the poverty surrounding me and the lack of jobs and opportunity bothered me,” Sanon says. “I felt that people shouldn’t just be dependent on assistance, whether it’s from NGOs or USAID, that we should find ways to create jobs.”

Sanon has seven full-time employees who manufacture the unique chocolate bars. Her business supports more than 3 000 cacao farmers through nine different cooperatives. 

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