While the USA is not known as a cocoa producing country, it is the world's largest consumer of of chocolate. It is also home to the wrold's largest African diaspora population. As a result, we have invited a mixed team of experts who will produce the Cross Atlantic Chocolate Collective Sampler's only "melting pot" bar, which will be the sampler's only bean to bar chocolate.
Meet The Team
Co-Founder, Cru Chocolate
Leaving her home in Honduras and moving to the USA and after pursuing a degree in Engineering and an advanced degree in Sustainability, Karla McNeil-Rueda studied Cacao technology and fine chocolate confectionery at the Chocolate Institute of Latin America and the Caribbean in La Habana, Cuba.
She learned to integrate and combine her empirical and cultural knowledge of chocolate with her experience as an engineer, and with her Partner Eddie Houston who is also an engineer together they founded Cru Chocolate, a hand crafted bean to bar company that sources fine Cacao from Mesoamerica and the Caribbean to use in their chocolate and other Cacao based creations. Making all their chocolate in small batches at their home kitchen.
Cru Chocolate’s mission includes a focus on assisting people at origin in creating and growing their own business by providing education and facilitating small scale equipment.
Hi! I’m Jeneia from the Washington, D.C. metro area with roots in Trinidad. While I work full-time in the corporate world, I consider myself to be an evolving artist who likes many creative avenues - baking, bookbinding, lettering/calligraphy, design, paper engineering, paper marbling, painting…but I can't seem to settle on just one thing! I am also a pretty paper and art supplies hoarder.
As far as chocolate, I dabbled making it many years ago, but settled on being a consumer with an ever-changing palette. While I’m not a cocoa farmer by trade, I’m proud to be part of the team of the U.S. arm of the Alliance of Rural Communities Trinidad & Tobago (ARCTT) selling ARC chocolate products to North American clients & consumers, assisting with virtual chocolate tasting tours, and making chocolate in my spare time.
My name is James Canty, I’m the creative mind behind a lot of things chocolate!!!I’m a husband, father, chef, food photographer, graphics designer and Chocolatier!!!I’m artisan behind “Chokolate Box” “Willie Coca Chocolates” and my latest endeavor “Willie Eskobar Chocolates” (A premium Hemp infused luxury chocolate brand)I’m super excited to be here and I’m looking forward to sharing what I know about creating tasty brands and learning what everyone here has to offer!!!
Cofounder, Jinji Pure Chocolate
Pure chocolate by Jinji was founded in 2012 by Jinji Fraser, and her father, Guy. Since the beginning, the priority has been maintaining a high level of sensitivity to the farmers who grow & harvest the cacao, and to the earth that yields the fruits. Along with local, seasonally selected ingredients, the chocolates also pay tribute to the ancient art of storytelling, creating rich flavor profiles that are both complex and memorable. In order to preserve the integrity of the chocolates, they are each handcrafted, and free from dairy, gluten and all refined sugars.
Today, you can find a full selection of Jinji chocolates at their retail shop at Belvedere Square Market, to include pralines, barks, fudges, truffles and many more novelty creations. Jinji chocolates are also available in limited supply at area restaurants, grocers and cafes.