Thailand was once a major cacao producer for large multi-national corporations, so Paniti Junhasavasdikul and Nuttaya Junhasavasdikul started their business to revive Thailand’s chocolate reputation and promote cacao as a speciality crop from the country, along with a third partner Leo Sebag.
Kad Kokoa is a Thai chocolatier with four farms, in Chiangmai, Chanthaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, and Chumphon. ‘Kad’ is the Northern Dialect in Thailand, which was where the company had its roots, and this is where they derived their name.
The company, a husband and wife team, opened Bangkok’s first Bean to Bar cafe in 2018 after suffering a ‘mid-life crisis’, leaving behind their jobs as lawyers and pursuing their passion. It’s a lovely story, which they explain themselves in the video below.
We gave up the money we used to earn, and now we’ve gained happiness
They chose cacao beans produced from these four locations because each location has distinct tastes due to differences in the temperature and soil.
After harvesters handpick the beans, they are sent to the Kad Kokoa cafe for quality checks and then transformed into chocolate, served in their cafe.
Kad Kokoa is now actively offering its knowledge of cacao trees to help Thai farmers. The chocolate producer’s campaign titled Seedling For New Lives intends to gather funds to buy cacao seeds for farmers under the growing operation of Chumphon Horticulture Research Centre and MTT Farm in Doi Saket, to provide to the Department of Forestry.
This year has been hard on the agriculture of Northern Thailand due to rampant wildfires. Kad Kokoa believes the project will help farmers to replace the burnt trees with something that can provide income. The aim is to reach 750,000 baht (£18,971) to buy and distribute 10,000 cacao seedlings to the farmers.
Kad Kokoa will donate funds to the “Thainess Chocolate Set” cause. The Thainess Chocolate Set includes four flavours of Thai origin chocolate: Dark Single Origin – Chumpon (70%), Dark Inclusion Bar – Salted Tamarind (58%), Dark Inclusion Bar – Shiso Seeds (58%) and Dark Inclusion Bar – Salted Caramel (58%).