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Chocolate with nut and dried fruit

Ricardo Trillos: A Lover of Chocolate and Noble Causes

By Greyza Baptista, March 17, 2014
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Good things in life almost always get to us when we least expected. This is the way Ricardo Trillos thinks, a professional accountant who just because of chocolate decided to dedicate himself to the biggest pleasure of all: “making people happy”.

When Trillos moved to Miami searching for opportunities in 2004, like any typical Venezuelan he started to miss his good chocolate, up until a random day, he received a bulk 6 pounds of this irresistible delicacy. The carrier of such generous gift knew about his weakness, however after he binged on it, something needed to be done with the rest. So, he put ingenuity to it and discovered himself as a chocolatier by accident.

When he thought about starting his business online many called him crazy. For a moment he felt the world was crumbling down, but that encouraged him to open his store Cao Chocolates, with the help of his wife, “the only person who believed in me, and to whom I’ll be forever grateful because today life has a much better flavor,” he said candidly.

Trillos is passionate about supporting local businesses and that’s why he opened his humble store Cao Chocolates, located in the south of Miami, where he works only with Venezuelan cocoa, and fruits straight from local farmers. Then, as a good alchemist, he transforms cocoa seeds in exquisite chocolates, tablets and truffles that with only one bite, awake the senses and memories, all with original fillings.

Some flavors are not repeated because they are made with seasonal fruit. Sometimes tamarind or lemon, or cayenne pepper, rum raisin, grated coconut or sea salt, to mention just a few.

In his modest establishment, everything is done by hand and he talks confidently about how chocolate is made. He knows the process from seed to fermentation, toasting and the regions, to even the names of the farms.

Charitable chocolate

Trillos and his wife Amelith Ortega and two daughters (Sophia, 6 and Camila, 2) have big and sweet hearts. Ever since they opened their store three years ago they’ve been defending noble causes and people who know them, know this well and usually get involved.

Through their foundation, they raise funds and at the end of each month, they send a percentage of their sales to St. Jude Hospital, to help children with cancer. Also, as a part of their supportive activities, each month they dedicate a Sweet Night Under the Stars, where they offer free tasting for an hour, which serves the double purpose of giving for the pleasure of it and for charitable reasons.

“I have the best job in the world, and a way to thank life is giving something good back to society,” said Ricardo Trillos, who besides using good cocoa, his other fundamental ingredient is solidarity. “No one can live without chocolate. Chocolate is a reward and despite the fact that I really didn’t look for it, I’m happy chocolate found me,” he ended.

Photo courtesy of @AARPhoto and @CaoChocolates

popped Greyza Baptista
Wife and mother of a 5-year-old gourmet, who never frowns when eating salads (unless there’s no spinach on her plate), I believe that healthy eating habits start at home. I learned that simple rule from my mother, a true wizard in the kitchen who taught me the art of transforming ingredients into something delicious. These days, my family is convinced that I make magic when I cook. For me, memories, smells and tastes inspire me to create dishes, and to write about one of life’s richest pleasures: food. I’m also a journalist and occasional artist.

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