Meet the Maker: Gregory Landua of Nova Monda Cacao & Chocolate

Gregory Landua, Nova Monda Chocolate (cropped)

Gregory Landua, Nova Monda Cacao & Chocolate

I first learned about Nova Monda Cacao & Chocolate at the 2012 Northwest Chocolate Festival, where I also had the privilege to meet its founder, Gregory Landua. He’s an uncommon man: opinionated and not afraid to voice those opinions, but also thoughtful, gracious and kind. I think the transcript speaks for itself.

What is Nova Monda Cacao and Chocolate known for?
Our company makes craft chocolate, both bars and jars, that are all single-origin, ethically traded and beyond amazing. Nova Monda came into being in 2011. I’m the cacao hunter and the director of development, and at the moment I’m the production manager, as well.

How did you come to chocolate?
I got conned into it by a hippie.

What’s the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is, undoubtedly, getting to go hack through the jungle with a machete and look for cacao. For sure. Getting to go on amazing adventures and finding great cacao and also growing trees. I like that too.

What’s the most challenging part of your job?
I would say flippantly, mosquitoes. [laughs] The biggest challenge is almost too complex to point at. I think the biggest challenge is the complexity of doing it right. Going from tree to bar or jar and having attentiveness and care at each level of the process…it requires a skill set that I could honestly say I don’t actually possess, so I’m constantly failing. So I’m constantly failing and then having to do better and better and better. So the biggest challenge is wow, that’s sort of a superhuman task, to hold that all gracefully.

Nova Monda spreads

What would you do if you weren’t making chocolate?
I would probably be sailing around the world, or doing something else not as useful for the planet. But fun.

Published by: Eagranie

7 years as a chemist + 9 months of culinary school + 2 years as a pastry chef & chocolatier + a lifetime of writing = this blog. This blog won't always be about chocolate, but it will almost certainly be about food. The name of the blog is a triple play on words. 1. It's a nod to my training as a classical pianist. Among other fantastic accomplishments, J.S. Bach combined technical prowess with artistic inspiration and penned the 24 preludes & fugues that make up The Well-Tempered Clavier, Books I and II. 2. In order to behave properly, chocolate needs to be tempered. In a nutshell, tempering prompts the chocolate to assume its most stable crystalline form (beta prime, if you're interested) so that it is shiny, snappy, and as stable as it can be. 3. Depending on my mood and how we meet, you might agree that I'm well-tempered. Or not.

Categories 2013, Meet the makerTags, , , , 1 Comment

One thought on “Meet the Maker: Gregory Landua of Nova Monda Cacao & Chocolate”

  1. Someone just told me about your blog and also “Cooking With Mr. C. on Facebook. I just “Liked” his page and came to your site. I love when people share blogs with each other. Denise

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