Last week Kristoffer Sjöberg was on holiday in Dalat. A young software designer living in Stockholm, Kristoffer likes to travel and he loves chocolate. So arriving in Dalat, the altitude station at the heart of the souther Vietnamese highlands he wondered if there was anything interesting related to chocolate in Vietnam.
This is what happened next…
First we received this email:
I googled for chocolate in Vietnam, and was stunned to see this Marou project of yours. I LOVE chocolate, and have long been wanting to see a cocoa tree for real and a dream-come-true would be to taste the product from these trees too. I’m from Sweden and are having a vacation here in Vietnam, and I thought I could drop you an email to see if you have any idea if there are any plantations around the Da Lat area that one could go to to see the gift from heaven?
I hope to hear from you guys, and if not it’ll have to do if I could get a few bars in Hanoi (which is our next destination)
Thanks a million,
We liked the attitude and as good luck would have it we were going towards Dalat the next day to buy cocoa beans at the foot of the highlands, so we replied:
Today is your lucky day! We’ll see you tomorrow morning in the Highlands, around 150km south of Da Lat (if you don’t get lost and if our 47 years old Citroen is willing to go all the way… in which case we’ll see you in the afternoon or whenever we make it to Madagui by any other means).
The Marou Team”
The next day we hopped on to our Citroen Ladalat and left at 6AM. Junction with the Swedish expedition was made shortly after 11AM and we proceeded to a beautiful, remote farm to buy cacao beans.
Kristoffer and his friend Linh got to visit the small cacao plantataion and then help us select the beans and even get a bit sweaty when we had to transfer the beans from the storage bags into the moving bags.
It was a good day for us too, sourcing severall hundred kgs of very fine beans and loading them in our old car, making it back with no more incident than catching a very heavy storm back in Saigon. We said goodbye to Kristoffer and Linh who were heading back to Dalat and then going on to Hanoi.