FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
PRIVACY & SAFETY
River-Sea Chocolates collects customer emails when you sign up for our mailing list, send us a message, or make a purchase on our site. We do not maintain any other customer information or data. All payments are handled either through PayPal accounts or through Square.
Interested in carrying our product at your place of business?
Contact Krissee@riverseachocolates.com for all wholesale inquiries.
ALLERGINS & FOOD SENSITIVITIES
We are a gluten free facility.
We take caution to prevent cross contamination with common allergens, but we do use nuts, coconut, and dairy in some of our chocolates.
Dairy: We have dedicated grinders for vegan and dairy chocolates, but shared molding equipment. Because of this, the chocolate bars may contain traces of dairy.
Tree nuts: Our dark chocolate bars may contain traces of coconut. Our vegan truffles contain coconut oil.
Nuts: we use dedicated machinery and molding equipment for our chocolates with nuts, to prevent cross contamination. The nuts we most frequently use are peanuts and hazelnuts.
Soy: All of the chocolate we produce is completely soy-free. The cocoa butter transfer sheets we use on some of our truffles contain soy.
Alcohol: Some of our truffles contain alcohol and these are marked. Some of our flavor extracts use an alcohol base, particularly in our Rum Caramel chocolate bar.
Please describe your supply chain. How do you ensure that there is price transparency throughout?
The majority of our cacao comes from Brazil, where we purchase directly from the Saraca community and pay them above the fair trade prices for cacao. We started working with them in 2020 (right before COVID hit). Mariano became connected with them through a relative and heard about their history with growing cacao. Unfortunately, as is the story with many rural farmers, the remote river island remained at the mercy of cacao brokers affiliated with Big Chocolate companies. Mariano listened to stories of immoral business dealings, for which the Saraca community had no means of recourse.
So then in 2020 we begin a relationship honoring the power of the superfood, and hopefully bringing prosperity to the Saraca people, Mariano agreed to purchase their entire Spring harvest. Dona Fausta, the farm grandmother, did a happy samba dance because, for the first time in her life, she was not haggled down in price, and she knew she could trust the agreement.
COVID hit, and there was much delay and drama in getting the harvest to us, but we did get the beans eventually and have been making tens of thousands of bars of chocolate from them. As I mentioned, Mariano is back in Saraca right now. Because we have been collaborating with them so much, he again placed a deposit on this year's harvest, interweaving our risk with theirs. The long term plan is to help them establish as an origin in the craft chocolate space and so they sell to other makers, not just us.
For other origins that we purchase from coops, like Thailand, Colombia, Mexico, Tanzania; we like that the coops follow a similar model that is the most friendly for the growers. That model being that cacao farmers are reimbursed for the wet beans. This provides the highest financial compensation for the growers, and also means that the fermentation and drying is done separately from the farming, bringing the overall quality and flavor of the cacao up.
Is your chocolate made with other ingredients (sugar, cocoa butter, lecithin, vanilla, milk powder, flavorings, inclusions, etc.)?
We use nutiva sugar for our chocolate bars. Nutiva is certified sustainable and organic cane sugar. It is tested by an independent laboratory to verify no trace heavy metals or toxins. The sugar cane farms use regenerative organic management, biological pest control and harvesting without burning. They farm almost 50sq miles of land by monitoring biodiversity in agricultural areas, rotating crops, and fertilizing with green manure. The processing facility is self-sufficient in the production of electricity through the combustion of sugarcane bagasse. Organic sugar maintains more nutrients and flavor!
Perfect compliment for our cacao to make lightly sweetened chocolate bars.
We source the milk from California cows grazing in nutrient rich Humboldt County. The climate, geography, and soil of Humboldt County combine to make it an ideal environment for dairy farming. Humboldt Creamery’s delicious, premium certified organic dairy products are the result of more than 85 years of sustainable farming practices, deep respect for the health and welfare of their cows, and a commitment to quality in everything they do.
We also use Real Freeze-Dried Fruits, Organic Butter, Raw Honey, and Pure Extracts & Teas
No soy or gluten in any of our bars