Our Story, Team & Mission
''I discovered ceremonial-grade drinking cacao in November 2015, through my fascination with plant medicines & shamanism. I had been sitting with the Mother of all plant medicines for nearly the entire year, which had profoundly impacted my life. Determined to discover more Amazonian plants that positively affected human consciousness, my readings led me to this gentle yet very powerful plant... CACAO.
In my studies of Cacao, I quickly discovered that the Mayans have been drinking cacao for centuries for spiritual and health purposes. But not just any cacao, whole-bean, native cacao. I also learned that the chocolate we eat today is actually not from native cacao beans, but rather from genetically-modified beans so that they are more resistant to bacteria and much cheaper to control. Beyond intrigued, I found a Criollo cacao source in Guatemala, and after a month and a half of waiting, it arrived at my door step.....
Upon my first sip, I was in love. I began working with the cacao regularly, and felt it healing my heart, opening me up to the infinite possibilities of this realm, and connecting me back to my higher self, my community, nature, and my deeper purpose.
Due to the long, complicated ordering process of ceremonial-grade cacao at the time, I set out to make it simpler. My first trips to Guatemala, and then Peru in the following year, reinforced my passion for this plant, for the people behind it, and for the need to bring it to the Western World in a new way.
KAKAO came to life with ease and flow, while always inviting me to have a deep sense of courage. I followed my guidance every step of the way, even when I was scared, and now look back on the entire journey with deep gratitude and awe.
Along the way, I was blessed with the full-time support of my beloved, Michael. We have formed relationships with cacao farmers & on-the-ground badasses in both Peru & Guatemala, that help us source truly native cacao beans in a sustainable way. KAKAO is a 501c3 non-profit in order to protect the farmers, the communities, and the sacredness of this plant.
Michael and I are passionate about bringing ceremonial-grade cacao to as many hearts as possible. We started stone-grinding, producing and blessing thousands of pounds of KAKAO in our own place in LA since Michael came on board, and we have now moved production to Lima, Peru to increase the impact.
We host regular online gatherings (alongside other community members) to provide safe and sacred spaces for opening the heart, healing emotionally, connecting to others and receiving support. To date, we have seen hundreds of lives impacted by this Plant 'ally' Cacao, including ourselves.
I feel as though my work with cacao is truly a 'calling'. I am incredibly honored & humbled to be partnered with Mother Earth in this way. I remain until this day a student of this medicine and of those that have come before me. I am forever grateful to the soulful community that has formed around this medicine, many who have become close friends. I feel I have much to gift onward thanks to all I have received and continue to receive thanks to KAKAO.''
- Makenzie, Founder
Michael & Makenzie live in Kauai, HI. They are conscious entrepreneurs and passionate about restoring the Heart into Business, Relationships, Sexuality and more. To attend an upcoming virtual ceremony, check the calendar here. To learn more about Makenzie and her businesses, click here. To learn more about Michael and his work in Sacred Sexuality & Relationships, click here.
OUR STORY ON AUDIO
Listen to Michael and Makenzie share their KAKAO story* on Soundcloud:
*Please note, this entire program is only available to participants of our KAKAO Facilitator Training Courses.
To learn about the symbolism of the dragon, click here.
KAKAO BATCH BLESSINGS
Learn about how our monthly batch blessings came to be click here.
KAKAO'S SOURCING & PRODUCTION METHODS
To learn more about KAKAO's Sourcing and Production, click here.
A special thanks to: Matt Lianides and the entire team on the ground in Peru; and to Joy Saavedra, member of the board and fierce Momma Bear to KAKAO.
In addition to KAKAO's mission to make ethically-sourced ceremonial-grade cacao accessible for heart-healing across the globe, as a 501c3 Non-Profit Organization we have a responsibility to give back to the communities and people involved in growing, harvesting and making our product. While paying beyond fair-trade prices has been a non negotiable since Day 1, KAKAO stands to take it further. Our aim is to be profitable no later than early 2021 and partner with the team on the ground in actualizing our first give-back project.
We believe in reciprocity and honoring the Indigenous roots of this plant medicine and therefore encourage our entire community to contemplate their own reverence for Cacao, for the farmers who care for her, and for the Indigenous Elders who have protected the sacred use of plant medicines as a whole.
To read more about the history and the original gatekeepers of cacao, click here.
To read in depth about KAKAO's sourcing and production methods, click here.