Frequently Asked Questions
There’s a lot more to what we do than meets the eye! Below are the most commonly asked questions that we receive. Email Jeff with more great questions at Jeff@MokaOrigins.com
Our Mission and Farm
Do you have your own farm?
Yes. Before Moka Origins was a coffee and chocolate company, we were a sustainable farming venture. In 2014, my partner Ishan and I founded Moka Origins in Cameroon, West Africa, as a community-based agricultural project. Our mission in Cameroon is creating food security, market linkage, and employment opportunities by partnering farmers as well as directly cultivating local food crops and cash crops (such as cacao), and starting a Farmers Field School. Learn more about our farm here.
My wife and I have been working in Cameroon, West Africa since 2007 leading various humanitarian initiatives for a not-for-profit called the Himalayan Institute. We think of Cameroon as our second home, and making it the base for our farming project could not have been a better fit. Learn about the great work of the Himalayan Institute here.
What do you grow on your farm in Cameroon?
We grow cacao under the shade of plantain and fruit trees such as avocado, mango, and citrus. Cultivating and expanding our farm has been a very long and educational experience, and we are beyond excited to start incorporating more of our Cameroon crops into our products in the near future. As of now, most of the cacao in our chocolate is procured from other producing partners around the world.
How do you give back?
- Market Linkage: Buying quality beans from farms that honor ethical labor practices.
- Job creation and infrastructural development: Our farm itself is a vehicle for employment, empowerment and community development. We invest back into Cameroon as a way to express reciprocity to the cacao farming industry.
- Environment: Each year we commit to planting thousands of trees.
- Food security: Our farm generates hundreds of pounds of maize, beans, plantains and other staple food crops to help supply the local population.
Factory and Store
Are you a part of the Himalayan Institute?
Moka Origins is independent from the Himalayan Institute. Our founders, Jeff Abella and Ishan Tigunait, have been working closely with the Himalayan Institute for over a decade, and serve in leadership roles with the Institute's humanitarian and educational endeavors. Moka Origins is a for-profit social venture which rents space on the beautiful campus of the Himalayan Institute.
Do you have a physical store?
Yes. Our factory store is on the grounds of the Himalayan Institute (in the white barn) in Honesdale, PA. We are open 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Saturday. We accept the following payment types: cash, debit card or credit card.
Do you offer free tours?
Yes. Every Saturday at 10:00 and 2:00 we hold a tour and tasting event which lasts 45 min and is completely free. During the tour, we'll dive into the details of who we are, what we stand for, and how we hand-craft our chocolate and coffee.
Where are you located?
We're seated in the heart of the Pocono Mountains on the Himalayan Institute's beautiful, wooded 400-acre campus at 952 Bethany Turnpike, Honesdale, PA. Find us here on Google maps!
I don't live in the Poconos. Where can I buy Moka Origins?
We are in 40 retail locations across 9 states. Check out our locator here.
Can I resell Moka Origins?
Yes, please! Simply fill out our wholesale application here.
What is in your chocolate?
The base for all of our chocolate bars is the same: cacao beans, sugar, and cocoa butter. Our chocolate is free of dairy, nuts, soy, and gluten. After our cacao has been roasted, stone-ground, and poured into bars, we then add the inclusions to produce the various flavors that make up our range of chocolate products. Visit our online shop and click on each product to read more about its inclusions.
Do you work with allergens?
We take food allergies very seriously. All of our products are free of dairy, gluten, nuts, and soy except for two:
- Our Toffee Almond bar contains almond and butter. Read more.
- Our Holiday Peppermint Bar contains milk. Read more.
We take the utmost care to prevent cross-contamination, but we can’t make guarantees,so please enjoy responsibly.
Are your products certified organic?
Our factory is a USDA Certified Organic food facility. It is also Fair Trade Certified™ and Rainforest Alliance Certified™. We also use the organic Swiss Water® Process to decaffeinate our decaffeinated coffee. These certifications apply for the products listed below.
We only supply the highest quality ingredients! Although we genuinely support the organic certification process, not all small farms that produce organic and fair-trade products can afford to go through these expensive certification procedures, and it is not our priority to force farmers to pursue these certifications. Therefore, some of our products cannot be officially certified even though they exceed our high standards of quality, ethics, and taste.
- Cacao butter and sugar - Certified Organic
- Ugandan cacao beans - Certified Organic
- Ecuador Camino Verde Cacao Beans - Certified Organic and Direct Trade
- Dominican Republic Cacao - Certified Organic and Direct Trade
- Uganda Bukonzo Organic Coffee - Certified Organic, Fair Trade Certified™, Direct Trade
- India Pearl Mountain Coffee - Rainforest Alliance Certified™
- Ethiopia Kossa Geshe Estate Coffee - Certified Organic, Direct Trade
- Cameroon Mt. Oku Region Coffee - Direct Trade
- Decaf Guatemala Fully Washed - Organic Swiss Water® Process
How to display and store chocolate
Bad things can happen to good chocolate. Here are a few recommendations to avoid this from happening:
- Store in a dry, cool place.
- Keep it away from strong scented odors or foods, as cocoa butter can easily absorb these flavors.
- Keep out of direct sunlight. Chocolate will begin to melt at 84 degrees and direct sunlight will easily cause this to happen.
- For mid to long-term storage (3 to 8 months) we suggest a storage temperature of 55 to 65 degrees.
- Never freeze chocolate.
Fair Labor and Ethical Sourcing Policy
We believe that our chocolate supply chain must not only be fair, but that chocolate should mean empowerment. We strive to maintain the highest standards of human dignity as we grow cacao at our farm in Cameroon, Africa, and as we procure cacao from socially-conscious partners around the world.