This family of Corsican origin, which has grown cocoa in Venezuela for export since 1827, has won at least three dozen awards for its gourmet chocolate bars, from the tree to the bar, which it has been producing since 2009 in the country.
It took almost 180 years for the family of cocoa farmers franceschi decided to transform part of the cocoa it produces in its plantations in eastern Venezuela for export, into gourmet chocolate bars, from the tree to the bar, for consumption inside and outside the country.
Its line of bars is based on elaborations of dark chocolates of origin, which bring together the flavors and aromas of different terroirs. Choroní, Canoabo, Ocumare, Sur del Lago, Carenero, Río Caribe, Chuao, Cuyagua, Piaroa, are some of his most recognized productions.
The sixth generation of this family of Corsican origin, who arrived in the country in 1827 to work the cocoa lands of the Sucre state, was the one who decided to immerse themselves in the chocolate market, perhaps initially out of curiosity, because it was frequent visit of many independent European chocolatiers who came to the country attracted by the best cocoa in the world.
Italian chocolatier Gianluca Franzoni, founder of Domori Chocolates, could have been an inspiration for this cocoa family.
In 1993, after finishing his studies in Economics, Franzoni traveled to Venezuela and settled for several years to learn about the varieties of Criollo and Trinitarian cocoa, their cultivation, and the process to achieve a bar of fine aroma chocolate through collaboration. with producers and research centers.
And it is witness to the installation, in 1994, of the first nursery that revives Hacienda San José in Paria, owned by the Franceschi family.
This farm has 185 hectares planted with trees of seven varieties of Creole cocoa.
Chocolateria Domori, since its creation in 1997, was one of the first chocolate houses in the world to make chocolate bars with 100% Criollo cocoa, and to control the supply chain from the plantations.
Also, he is one of the main buyers of cocoa from Hacienda San José.
The Franceschi arrived in Venezuela in 1827
Most of the families that were dedicated to the cultivation of cocoa in the country were Spanish, but there were some of Corsican origin that came to Venezuela from the Dominican Republic and Haiti between the years 1820 and 1830, who stood out in this agricultural activity.
One of these families, the Franceschi, who were more than farmers were merchants, settled in the country in 1827 and acquired their cocoa plantations in the state of Sucre from the hands of peninsular Spaniards.
A few years later they founded the Hacienda San José in the town of El Pilar, near Carúpano, in the Paria Region.
This family came to manage up to 8.000 ha. of cocoa plantations, in the surroundings of Carúpano, Sucre state, with a production estimated at 4.000 tons of cocoa beans per year, which they exported.
In addition to selling the raw material, they brought merchandise of all kinds that were not produced in the country and that they sold in their own commercial establishments.
Currently, Hacienda San José is one of the most important developments of Creole cocoa in the country, thanks to the work of the fifth generation of the Franceschi family in the early 90s.