5 generations ago, the Cassam Chenai family moved from India to settle in Madagascar. The family initially sold postcards and textiles before moving to spices and eventually breaking away individually to create businesses they were each passionate about. Shahin Cassam Chenai moved into chocolate.
‘Mena’ means red in Madagascan. It is a nod to ‘The Red Island’, Madagascar, as well as to the colour of the earth and the colour of the chocolate. ‘Kao’ means cocoa - all Menakao beans are sourced from the best planter cooperatives in the Sambirano valley and every ingredient used is locally grown.
Each bar is beautifully illustrated with the faces of different ethnic groups present in Madagascar: the Tanala, the Betsimisaraka, the Mahafaly, the Antanosy, the Bara and the Merina - each are represented in their traditional clothes and headdresses.
Less than 5% of the world’s chocolate is produced in the same country that it is grown so by making Menakao in Madagascar with 100% local ingredients, the company generates 5x the benefit of Fair Trade for the local Madagascan economy.
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