About Kakao Berlin
The most unique element of Kakao Berlin is our far-ranging sourcing of some of the world’s finest cocoa beans. The beans are brought to Berlin from over 50 countries. A wide array of spectacular single-origin chocolates are available, as well as some of the most intriguing blends imaginable. All of our products are GMO free and our chocolate is not only all natural but includes an expansive range of options, from organic and Rainforest Alliance to our Equitable Trade line.
We are often asked, “Why Germany? Couldn’t you have your chocolate made in the United States?” The answer is more complicated than a simple “yes” or “no” answer. Sure, we could have our chocolate made anywhere, including the United States, but we are simply in love with Germany’s rich history of chocolate making. For centuries they have had small chocolate factories all over the country, similar to the local breweries inherent to the country. They believe in using state-of-the-art-equipment, yet they still retain the “small-batch” care and passion for making the finest product. We think it’s unbeatable.
Brian Warkentin, founder and President of Kakao Berlin, has had a long love affair with chocolate spanning over several decades. Originally from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in Canada, he would delight his mom and sister by making chocolate pancakes for them every weekend. When his family moved to San Jose, California, he found his first food-industry related job at the Chocolate Corporation of California (later to become Shade Foods). Originally hired because he could lift a 100-lb bag of sugar, Brian found his passion and did every job he could get his hands on.
While working at Shade Foods, Brian developed a few patents, one being for the “Wayfel,” a chocolate wafer that contained starch. When it was melted with water and sweetener, it formed a delicious fudge topping. When the sales people at his employers couldn’t figure out how to sell it, Brian hit the streets and sold it himself. His first account was with Smuckers, who bought 900,000 pounds. A salesman was born.
In more recent times, Brian developed a line of gourmet drinking chocolate in his kitchen. They went on to win several awards and were featured on the Food Network, Good Morning America, and the Today Show, along with several publications.
In 2010, Brian started Kakao Berlin because he believed there should be an independent source of high quality chocolate available in the United States. In the constant pursuit of looking to provide something unique, he also wanted the flexibility to manufacture any type of chocolate that he found interesting. Brian worked with a decades-old factory in Berlin to develop the recipes for the chocolate we sell today.