On August 10th, it was EMKAO’s 6 year anniversary!
It all started in 2016 when EMKAO incorporated. Our Founder, Ayissi had a dream to bring sustainably and ethically sourced cocoa to Canada. From there, she came up with the name “EMKAO” which means Enterprise Made for ‘Kakao’. Throughout 2017 and 2018 Ayissi raised over one million dollars through crowd funding, investors, and new business grants. Ayissi successfully secured a factory location in Mission, BC then purchased her equipment and inventory!
Throughout 2019 Ayissi started to work on the facility. Renovating the space to create her dream chocolate factory! Ayissi ensured she had the necessities to produce finished cocoa products from raw beans! When covid-19 hit in 2020, Ayissi launched the ‘ikarekao’ campaign. This campaign supported members of our community, such as front line workers and those greatly affected by the major shut downs of 2020. If you’re interested in learning more about this campaign visit the “ikarekao” instagram page to see all of our donations and donors!
EMKAO’s factory officially opened in 2021! We built up a great team and got to work. Perfecting our process of creating the highest quality and best tasting cocoa products. We started gaining more clients and had wonderful feedback on the impact of our cocoa. We released our signature Vegan Dark Chocolate Chips in 2021. So much trial and error went into perfecting our chips and they turned out perfectly! In the summer of 2021, we had the opportunity to meet local consumers as we popped-up in farmers markets around the lower mainland! It was so exciting to see the amazing response we got from local shoppers. This was the reaction we needed to pursue a retail launch! Throughout the year EMKAO was HCCAP and GMP certified as well as had our facility certified vegan!
This year we launched our traceability campaign on our wholesale packaging. When the QR code is scanned it shows customers where the cocoa originated from as well as when it was produced and packaged! This year we started offering a new service, our ‘create your own chocolate’ workshops! These workshops host up to 10 guests and give customers an inside look into the cocoa making process. Customers get to learn, make, and taste in this immersive and educational class! We’ve extended these classes to local schools. Inviting classes down to learn, taste, and make all things chocolate. Its educational for the students and they love ending the day with a sweet treat they made themselves. We secured our organic certification this year which is so important to us and our customers as well as our non-GMO certification. To make things even sweeter, we’ve launched into retail! You can now find EMKAO Vegan Dark Chocolate Chips and Natural Cocoa Powder at Save-On-Foods Guildford, Abbotsford, and Provision Market!
This year we had the opportunity to sponsor the Fraser Valley Bandits, our local minor league basketball team. If you attend a game you'll be sure to find some EMKAO treats in their sponsored goodie bags! We also made many donations, our most notable to the Saccomaniacs Autism Association!
We are so proud of how far we’ve come. As well as so grateful to all our supporters who’ve helped us get to this point. We are so excited to see what’s in store for us next year. Thank you to everyone who believed in EMKAO from the begging and happy 6-year anniversary to us!