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Z Beans Chocolate

To create sustainable solutions for the hard working farmers and people of Ecuador. It’s our mission - our purpose - our why. 

On my first solo trip to Ecuador, during the summer of 2017, Arturo and I stopped at a small town in southern Ecuador to ask for directions to a coffee farmer’s plantation. After speaking with the locals - as we were walking back to our vehicle - Arturo stopped and picked the largest red fruit I had ever seen. 

Immediately, I asked - What is that? Arturo responded, “Cacao.” 

As we always do, I pull out my phone, say something to make Arturo smile, and snap a picture…

Two years later, Arturo and I had just said our goodbyes for a fifth time, but this trip, I wasn’t alone, as Carter came with me. As we were leaving, Carter and I both longed for more time with our Ecuadorian family - more time to explore Ecuador, more time to immerse ourselves into the culture, more time to work alongside the hardest working people we had ever met. 

But, time had elapsed. Our experiences were now cemented as lasting memories. 

Upon returning, some months later, I was scrolling through the pictures we took on our most recent trip, recollecting. But, as I kept scrolling, I found myself diving deeper and deeper into memories. Until - I stopped at a picture that I took over 2.5 years ago - the picture of Arturo holding the cacao. 

At that moment, it hit me. There is a way to spend more time exploring, immersing, and working on sustainable solutions with our Ecuadorian family everyday. 

Arturo was showing it to me: Chocolate. 

A month later, in January of 2020, Arturo and I sat at his kitchen table - just as we did 4 years ago. But, this time, we didn’t discuss coffee. We discussed chocolate, centered around the idea of making each bar in the city that represents the Z in Z Beans - the home of Arturo & our second - Zaruma. 

Nine months later, on September 8, 2020, the first 100 chocolate bars, produced in Zaruma, Ecuador, arrived at our roasting facility in Macon, Georgia, birthing Z Beans Chocolate.

Thank you for supporting Z Beans!

Your friend, 

Shane Buerster

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