Tree to bar :
We do more than just turn cocoa beans into chocolate. Our process takes us all the way back to the source: the cocoa tree.
The Cassam Chenai family
The Cassam Chenai family, originally from the Gujarat province of western India, has lived in Madagascar for five generations. Having started by manufacturing postcards, the family moved into the textile trade before exporting spices. As time went by, the family grew larger and some members began to seek their own fortunes. That’s exactly what our co-founder Shahin Cassam Chenai did.
The story began with a conversation between Shahin Cassam Chenai, a chocolate lover, and his friend, a cocoa plantation owner.
Our story :
2005: Our first production unit is set up and development begins on the first recipes, with the help of a French Maître Chocolatier.
2006: First tests. Launch in May of TSAR and EKLAT on the Madagascan market. October: presence at the Salon du Chocolat in Paris with TSAR.
2007: Second year at the Salon du Chocolat. Our milk 44 % receives the prestigious “Chocolate Award” second prize.
2008: Third year at the Salon du Chocolat.
2009: Fourth year at the Salon du Chocolat. Our 63 % with sea salt and cocoa nibs receives the “Chocolate Award” first prize.
2010: Foundation of MENAKAO, aiming to create high quality chocolate for the European Market.
2011: July: implementation of a HACCP production chart. December: MENAKAO is launched in Europe, initially with a line of bars specifically for retailers. A professional line followed in Spring of 2012.
2012: Our line of baking chocolate is launched, aimed at professionals.
June: Menakao 72 % dark chocolate bar reaches the semi finals of the “International Chocolate Awards 2012” in the “Dark Chocolate – Producing Country” category.
July: Our 63 % combava & pink pepper and 63% cocoa nibs and Madagascan sea salt bars receive a 2* Gold Medal at the Great Taste Awards.
2013: Mars : Our 63 % cocoa nibs & Madagascan sea salt picked up a Bronze medal at the “Awards of Chocolate”.
May – Launch of our range of 25g bars
July- Our 63 % combava & pink pepper and 63% cocoa nibs and Madagascan sea salt bars received a 1* Gold Medal at the Great Taste Awards.
September – A new bar is launched: Dark Chocolate 70% bird chilli
October – Excellence award for the quality of our beans at the International Cocoa Awards
November – Our 44% Milk Chocolate bar is recognised at the “World Chocolate Awards”. Anotherprize received for the high quality of our cocoa beans at the “International Cocoa Awards”.
2014 : Launch of our Dark Chocolate 70% Sesame Seed and Crispy Coconut bar
2015 : Website refurbishment and Facebook page launch.
September – Launch of our three new bars : Milk Chocolate 44% Hazelnuts, Dark Chocolate 63% Arabica & Cocoa nibs & Sea salt and Dark Chocolate 63% Orange & Cranberries.
– Launch of the new packaging
November – Launch of the 25gr gift set.