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Dominique, Rose & Cacao

The story of Dominique is also available in PDF format in English.

Thank you, Dominique, for joining us here and sharing your story regarding your business.

The first question is usually the same: please let us know what Rose & Cacao is about and who is part of the project!

I am Dominique, I am 41 and I live in Ariège, near the Pyrenees mountains in the South of France.

My job…well I would rather talk about a life path, very often tortuous, but in the end full of significance. A mix of psychology and alternative therapies, personal issues around food and a quest for natural and conscious ways of finding overall well-being, and some time studying pastry and chocolate-making between my degree and …life!

Mix this, and you get someone who decides to shake up her life and chooses to make raw, vegan, gluten-free and low GI chocolate (organic and fair-trade too!) and to combine natural living, global consciousness and passion.

So at this point in my life, I make chocolate :-D !

Stephan is 44 and used to live in Bordeaux. He also has a multiple-job history, such as graphic designer, street vendor selling cakes and pies, or helping entrepreneurs to grow their business and thrive. We met completely out of the blue, and it simply matched! I am very bad at management and accounting, and he was looking for a project that made sense to him.

Here we are, in December 2017, as we decided to become business partners.

Rose & Cacao was born from my love for food and my path towards global consciousness. Food can either destroy and disturb, or heal and share love: Love for the Earth through organic ingredients; love for humans with fair-trade raw materials and a new way of « doing business »; love for the animals with our choice of avoiding all ingredients from animal origin; and last but not least, love for oneself and our body by feeding it with food made with love and meaning, lively food that promotes health and pleasure.

What got us started with Rose & Cacao really was the idea to use our passion and share the message of a new world starting to show itself.

A world where every link of any type of chain is vital and where we spread love, compassion and consciousness.

What made you go in the direction to create and sell chocolate?

I’ve already said a little about this earlier on, I’ll go further.

I’ve always loved food, especially sweet food. I love kneading dough because it’s sensuous, I love the smells of fruits, cakes baking in the oven, chocolate melting, spices...I love the feeling of tasting a new dish, the discoveries I can make with my palate. When I was 17 my French teacher showed us a movie called « Babette Feast ». Strong experience for me, this moment made me really feel how food is, in fact, love.

And after having done multiple jobs without finding my way to satisfaction and accomplishment, I decided to search for a job that would make me vibrate…and chocolate popped up!!

Stephan has a deep wish to help people thrive with their business, and a will to develop and work with an organisation that has strong values and where human beings, their aspirations, gifts and enthusiasm are the centre of what brings success. He loves what is beautiful and good, so the creation process of Rose & Cacao together was very natural.

What are your key creations and who would you say is your main audience?

At the moment we exclusively make chocolate bars (raw, vegan, gluten free, low IG). We make small batch stone-ground raw chocolate and we ad flavours with our own home-made low temperature goodies, such as crystallised Damascus rose petals, caramelised pecans and so on.

I love spices and flowers (I used to work as a flower essence practitioner!) and my desire is to draw inspiration from those beautiful ingredients. For example, I’m currently working on a bar inspired by bissap, an African beverage made with nutmeg, hibiscus flowers and banana…

We make our chocolate bars for every chocolate lover! Rose & Cacao chocolate is a very vibrant and high-quality chocolate, and we think every gourmet will appreciate our products.

Besides this we think our chocolate is naturally good for everyone who is a gourmet and feels that food-consciousness is a great and useful path to change ourselves and the world.

And of course, every person who has food restrictions such as gluten, lactose or sugar can enjoy in a healthy way with Rose & Cacao chocolate bars.

As an entrepreneur, what has been the hardest part to launch your business, and what would you advise to those who plan to launch their own?

Our project has received really positive and enthusiastic feedback from the beginning, and it has really helped us feel more confident. Despite the encouragements we have come across difficulties to find funds. Our products and business are innovative and most of the time people are not ready to follow and take risks.

We have always chosen to see these obstacles as gifts and we constantly work on transforming them in stepping stones for our business.

That would be my advice to entrepreneurs: work on how you perceive things, how you react to them. Because you will undoubtedly come across unexpected stuff, delays and setbacks. They are here to teach you, to build your confidence and to make you shine. Be grateful for them !

What is the typical day of a chocolate lover and creator?

I arrive at the workshop at around 8:00 in the morning and the first thing we do with Stephan is a sharing time where we both can express how we feel, our “inner weather”. Then we can both get into our specific tasks with a sense of peace, that is essential for us.

I am the chocolatier at Rose & Cacao, and I love working while listening to mantras! So the first thing I do is switching my favourite playlist on :-D !

Then I check the chocolate that has been melting overnight and start the tempering process that will lead to our bars.

While this process is in progress I have time to start new batches of chocolate in the stone-grinders and also to unmould the bars made the day before.

When it’s time to go back to the tempering process I stay with my chocolate because it needs full attention in order to be perfect. So I stir and mould and sing! This is a real meditative and focus moment for me and I love it.

In the afternoons I usually do other type of tasks, related to communication, copywriting.

As for the creative process, I usually start with the idea of a specific ingredient I love and want to make chocolate with, and I do research on ways of using it in food, associations with spices, fruits, flavours etc…and then I do a lot of testing and tasting! Running a chocolate business is not the hardest thing :-D !

The philosophy behind Rose & Cacao is clearly attached to strong principles of sustainability. Can you tell us what brought you there, what inspires you, and how this reflects into your work?

Stephan and I are both personally very attached to creating a world that is kind and loving for each and every being. Stephan has experience in running Social Solidarity Economy companies and his values and skills naturally matched my own journey in terms of sustainable living, food and body awareness.

On a daily basis, we are very attached to using tools such as NVC to deal with our humanity within Rose & Cacao. We are also inspired by Frédéric Lalou’s book « Reinventing organizations », who sees a company as a living being which requires subtle and intuitive listening skills to shine and have success.

And of course, all our ingredients are organic: we work with suppliers we trust 100% for working in sustainable ways and we make our chocolate with love!

We met you and I on the forum of Live Mentor, the same course that allowed OUTSIDE THE BOX to discover the work of Caroline a few weeks ago. What can you tell us about your experience with such platforms?

Live Mentor has been, and still is, one of the great surprises of my entrepreneur’s journey. I love the community of students who are always there for advices or for a good laugh when needed! And I think Live Mentor has really understood what entrepreneurs want and need, which allows them to be innovative and not stick to a so-called model that has become completely outdated.


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