In 1989, 5 year-old Sebastian Cisneros was gliding through the countryside in his family’s car, descending down from the Andes in Ecuador, transitioning from the lush cloud forest down into the tropical lowlands. Through the open windows the aroma of just-fermented cacao seeds drying on hot pavement fascinated and confused and ultimately enchanted young Sebastian.
In the fall of 2009, we embarked upon a mission to tease out and understand the nuances of cacao and create unconventional chocolate flavor combinations. Our initial setup only allowed us to source already-processed chocolate from larger fine chocolate makers in Europe, combine it with our recipes, and reshape it into bars.
In 2014, we launched our first chocolate bar featuring single-estate Ecuadorian cacao, under the name Cloudforest. Unlike our previous releases, this bar marked the first time we took control of all processing steps from dry cacao beans to its final chocolate form. These steps included roasting the cacao beans, refining the roasted cacao with sugar, and conching (homogenizing and deacidifying) the chocolate to improve flavor and texture.
We have been fortunate to grow at a steady, organic pace in the last couple years to a point where our chocolate is now represented in various independent retail outlets across the country. Through this growth, we have had the opportunity to increase our support of everyone in our supply chain and progressively build a small team of people to help transform cacao into chocolate.
After a few years acting as a sole chocolate maker, our founder Sebastian Cisneros, decided to gradually bring in a small group of collaborators to help sustain the founding mission. With this change also came a large change in our infrastructure—relocating into a new facility within Portland that could house our chocolate factory and first-ever retail chocolate shop. This relocation and our deeper involvement in the flavor development of chocolate has motivated us to rename our company to Cloudforest. Our new identity embodies the place that first invited Sebastian to experience cacao as a child growing in Ecuador and it now resonates universally with the team of people who create our chocolate.
We hope that in our new space you can take a closer look into how we transform cacao beans and directly experience the result of our efforts.
We look forward to your visit.