Interview and article written by Lea Phillips, copywriter and communications specialist – passionate about local, sustainable, delicious food! www.leaphillips.com.
“Chocolate is a vehicle for my expression, my voice, my hopes, my love of people, community and health”, says Michael Sacco, founder of the Chocosol Learning Community and Social Enterprise. Visionary, inventor, actionist and steward of indigenous knowledge – he is truly inspirational.
In 2003, Michael founded Chocosol with a group of innovative and dynamic individuals in Toronto and Mexico. The trans-local relationship between the growers in Mexico and artisanal chocolate makers here in Toronto is a shining example of true horizontal trade. The resulting chocolate is an expression of beauty – food for the body, mind and soil. As a community, Chocosol believes that sustainable foods should be fun to make, pleasurable, and an outlet for creativity.
Sacco learned to make chocolate in a small village near Oaxaca, Mexico. Working alongside indigenous farmers and artisanal chocolate makers, he learned ancient, time-honoured traditions. The dark, exotic cacao bean was an integral part of ancient Oaxacan culture – the tradition continues today. This knowledge he now stewards and passes on to others, “People ask me if I’m a chocolatier – I’m not creating chocolate, I’m stewarding that knowledge, regenerating that knowledge. Because it was here long before me and it will be here long after me.”
As a born actionist, he believes that ordinary people can do the extraordinary – the point is to just start doing it. The goal being “to really work with civil societies, communities and lead by example. Always bringing the means and the ends together, the living, the researching, the working, and take the busyness out of life. Find a way to make living and learning a more holistic expression of the art of living and dying with dignity”.