Mariana De La Rosa
“Provide always utmost quality and exquisite experiences. The closer you are to the source the more you will enjoy your chocolate bar.”
I’m an experienced cacao and chocolate expert with roots in Venezuela and now residing in the Netherlands since 2016. In Venezuela, I graduated as Chemical engineer and, later on, obtained a diploma in food technology.
With Puro Origen, my mission focuses on growing the market for fine cacao and chocolate from Venezuela, and nothing will distract me from that. My career started nine years ago as a food technologist at Nestlé, first in Santa Cruz de Aragua in Venezuela overlooking all recipes for the wafer confectionary industry and then transferred to the Product Technology Center in York, UK behind the Kit Kat brand. Together with the brand I had the opportunity to travel to many manufacturing facilities in Germany, Malaysia, Japan and design the Brazilian Kit Kat recipe. I’m nothing but thankful for all I’ve learned and seen all those years.
My experience in the confectionery business has developed in me a huge passion for the chocolate and the cacao sector and all the processes involved. This led to initiate a new phase in my new career as a fine flavour chocolate representative and distributor in order to provide chocolatiers with the best quality raw materials for their creations. Chocolates El Rey is my pride and can’t think of another brand that represents my culture and heritage as well as this one.
Currently, I’m among the primary professionals behind Chocoa, one of the leading events for the chocolate and cacao industry in Amsterdam which has allowed to grow my network of bean to bar chocolate makers and extend it to many countries in Europe.
In 2019, together with Marika van Santvoort, we founded Gaia Cacao, where we help exporters and cooperatives to get better access to the market in Europe, thereby increasing the value of their cacao. We work directly with the source in Venezuela and Ecuador. We pride ourselves with our great care to flavour, consistency, sustainability and pure varieties from our partners. Within Gaia, I manage most of the logistics and overlook the quality of the cocoa beans in the Port of Amsterdam: from receiving containers to shipping samples as well as ensuring quality standards to our clients.
If you ever see me butterflying around during one of the main industry events around the world, stop by and say hi.