Araya Artisan Chocolate is a family business that started in 2010 in Houston, Texas, with the commitment to create a gastronomic experience in each of our creations.
Our chocolates are handcrafted following the French and Belgian techniques using premium single-origin Venezuelan chocolate and only the finest ingredients from around the world.
Indulge your senses with the aroma and intense flavors of our handcrafted chocolates, discovering the essence of the spices, nuts, fruits or liquors within each piece that melts in your mouth and leave a memorable experience.
About the owners:
Owned and run by husband and wife team Stefano Zullian and Carla Susi, and her sister Silvana Susi. Their home country, Venezuela, is the place that grows some of the finest cacao in the world and has been recognized by connoisseurs.
This trio was always proud of their country’s chocolate and spent time visiting the small farmers that take care of these delicate plants. They fell in love with the process.
Having had the opportunity to train with their friend, Maria Di Giacobe - Basque Culinary World Prize - who was trained in France and Japan, and who is the owner of Kakao and Cacao de Origen in Venezuela, they quit their corporate jobs to immerse themselves in chocolate. The family went to work in her factory and learned from her experience. They created their own recipes catering to the American palate and came to Houston to open their first of three locations in 2010.
About the chocolate we use:
Our creations are handcrafted with Chocolates EL REY, a family business founded in 1929, which uses all natural, fairly traded, 100% single-origin cacao, creating a Venezuelan chocolate admired around the world.
Since chocolate was made a fine culinary art, chocolatiers blended cacao beans from multiple origins in order to get the right balance of flavor and price. Similar to wine and coffee, cacao has several varieties all with different flavors/tastes/aromas that are influenced by weather patterns and soil composition.
Over seventy percent of the worlds cacao originates in West Africa while others come from Asia and even less are farmed from Central and South America, although the Americas produce some of the finer cacaos of the world.
Forastero beans are the most abundant type of cacao since it is the heartiest varietal yet it’s flavor is bland. As such, the Forastero is the base for blending in more flavorful, higher quality beans such as Trinitario and Criollo.
Chocolates El Rey uses only cacao directly sourced from the small farms throughout Venezuela comprising the Aprocao, the democratically run cooperative that pays above market price for its cacao beans. These small farms throughout Venezuela manage their soil sustainably without chemical pesticides or fertilizers to produce a superior chocolate. Venezuelan cacao is recognized for it's supreme quality and flavor complexities.
El Rey chooses the finest cacao for it’s distinct aromas and taste to produce superior all natural chocolate free of preservatives and full of healthy flavonoids.
Find more information about El Rey in the following link: http://www.chocolates-elrey.com/