The Virgin StartUp team regularly support businesses that embody Virgin Unite’s ethos of championing people, planet and profit.

Supporting entrepreneurs both financially and through mentoring, Virgin StartUp have helped hundreds of ideas flourish into successful and sustainable businesses. This week, in partnership with Virgin StartUp, we’re sharing the story of Lucocoa and their limited edition International Women's Day chocolate bars.

The Lucocoa team have decided to scream and shout about the women that help them make their chocolate taste so good. For International Women's Day they’ve decided to launch limited edition covers for three of their dark chocolate bars. 

These bars  profile of three women from each of the company’s farms.

  • Minni Forman - Belize
  • Yasmira Lisbeth - Guatemala
  • Idelsa Brito - Dominican Republic
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Minni Forman - Belize

Minni Forman is the managing director of Maya Mountain Cacao, and is a cacao farmer herself. She was born and raised in the small village of San Antonio in southern Belize and then left Belize when she was 15 to pursue an education in the US.

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She then started a community supported agriculture program and urban farm in Detroit, USA. Her heart was always in Belize, and 15 years after leaving, she returned, to find the perfect opportunity as a leader in Maya Mountain Cacao.

Today, whilst running the Belize operation she has her own organic cacao cultivation on her farm. Lucocoa use these cacao beans to make our award winning 73 per cent Belize dark bar 

Yasmira Lisbeth - Guatemala

Yasmira Lisbeth is a true strong boss woman in the Lachuá community. She's the leader of ADIMIL - Asociación para el Desarrollo Integral de la Mujer Indígena de Lachuá - which is a women's association in Lachuá, Guatemala. Not only does she own three hectares of cacao, she makes and sells her own artisanal chocolate drink at the local market. Lucocoa use these cacao beans to make our 73 per cent Guatemala dark bar . 

Idelsa Brito - Dominican Republic

Idelsa Brito is a cacao farmer, and mum of three children. Idelsa was born in the Yaiba Abajo community, and her farm is in the Yaiba Arriba community. She has 2.5 acres of cacao in the San Francisco de Macoris region of the Dominican Republic and works with Oko Caribe, a centralised post harvest processing company that works with 180 farmers in the area to produce fine flavour cacao. The Oko Caribe cacao has won many international awards for its use in chocolate bars globally. Lucocoa use these cacao beans to make our multi award winning 70 per cent Dominican Republic and 50 per cent Dominican Republic milk.

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"Without well paid farmers obsessing over every step of the growing and fermentation of cacao our team would not be in a position to obsess over retaining the incredible flavour in these little beauties,” said Ama, co-founder and owner of Lucocoa.

If you’re an entrepreneur with a business plan that needs some financial backing, be sure to chat with Virgin StartUp – we could be featuring you next!