Dana Mroueh is an Ivorian entrepreneur who uses bicycles for the production of chocolates called MonChoco.
She uses Ivorian cocoa beans to make her special raw chocolate product then processes them by drying the beans on top of her factory roof in Abidjan, the beans are then taken to the factory where a grinding bike sits to form chocolates.
Mroueh sources her beans directly from farmers. The carefully sorted cocoa beans are then poured into a funnel and transformed into a paste by a grinder activated through pedaling.
She said “The bicycle grinder is an opportunity for us to practice our eco-friendly philosophy. We want to have a minimal impact on the environment by using minimal electricity, and combine it with a short work out which also makes it a playful process.”
MonChoco is praised for its unique flavor, and according to Mroueh, unique flavours lie in the fact that the beans are not roasted and have no added additives which gives the authentic taste of the raw bean.
“We are artisanal chocolatiers, so our process is manual, from the cocoa pods to the final product of packaging the chocolate tablets,” she said. “One of our trademarks is that we do not roast the cocoa pods, we use raw chocolates, that enables the cocoa pods to retain its flavors and nutritional values. It is richer in protein, anti-oxidants, and the taste is really different.”
According to Mroueh, she was inspired by her grandfather, who was an outstanding entrepreneur, to produce chocolates.
Although her grandfather was an outstanding entrepreneur, Mroueh did not have much to do with entrepreneurship until she completed university, where she studied management and economy. Since launching her business, the Ivorian has not looked back.
“The best part of being an entrepreneur is to know our work is benefiting not only the person who is eating the chocolate but also every single person along the value chain, from the farmer to the chocolatier,” she said.
“Also, I get great satisfaction seeing the team strongly espouse courage and persistence. My advice to other women looking to startup in business would be to keep in mind that perseverance and patience will be greatly needed.”