Bibamba, a Colorado company, makes chocolate bites from Cameroon cacao

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DENVER — Valentine’s Day has passed, but chocolates are good year-round. And, they taste even better when you find out where they come from, and who makes them.

You’re in good company this week with Bibamba and the couple who has found a knack for their snack-able bites.

In Patrick Tcheunou’s native language, “bibamba” means “patch,” much like a snack between meals.

So, he and his wife Mara thought it was perfect to describe their chocolate-making company.

“Bibamba is a dark chocolate bark with delicious crispy inclusions,” Mara said. “(It’s) made from cacao that we grow on our farm.”

Their farm is in Cameroon in Central Africa, where cocoa beans are plentiful.

“Our farms have produced a lot of cocoa this year,” Patrick said.

They then ship the beans to their shared kitchen in Denver, where Patrick starts churning out the flavors.

“When I’m here and I open my door, they know that I’m here because of the smell — the great chocolaty smell just invades the whole building,” Patrick said.

The raw beans go through a calculated process of timing, temperature, and ingredients to produce rich sheets of chocolate bark in coffee, coconut, and plantain varieties.

“Our coffee flavor is outstanding,” Mara said. “And, it’s really fun to bake with. It’s really fun to put on a charcuterie board or have a bite with a glass of wine.”

It’s a fun business, not without its challenges for this husband and wife starting out.

“We have two kids,” Mara said. “But, this is our third child. It’s as demanding, if not more.”

But, it’s a sweet reward seeing their hard work savored by so many who just need a small treat to complete their day.

You can find Bibamba in boutique coffee shops, flower shops and wine shops across the Front Range.

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