Dean started the chaiguy brand after seeing a lack of honest, quality, affordable organic food available in the market. We want to start making honest and affordable organic food easily accessible to everyone through both physical retail stores and the online platform.
Dean has over 30 years in the organic food industry with an emphasis on quality products. He started Chai Tea concentrate for the café scene here in New Zealand in 1999 ( hence the name ‘chaiguy’ ) and has carried on his exploration of organic sustainable food practises to this day, travelling around the world and working in different forms of food production.
At Chaiguy, we want to provide you honest organic food products easily! Whether you shop online, or you like physical stores, our goal is to inform you on what you’re eating, where is comes from, and get you buying at a price that’s fair and affordable. Organic food has recently increased in its demand. With information readily available showing the affects that artificial fertilizers and pesticides are having on our soils and to our wild life, changes are taking place in our food production habits that are beneficial for our health, and for the health of future generations. You now have a choice to learn about where your food comes from and where you spend your money.
We are closely tied with Big Tree Farms and the tens of thousands of communities they work with in Indonesia. Their model of teaching growers how to produce organic food sustainably is something that also makes the food taste good.
Knowing the quality produced is backed by families being supported financially and fairly sets a new ethical standard.
The Big Tree Farms relationship came about through a trip in Bali where Dean met the Big Tree Farms organic producers. After seeing their processes and knowing about their honest approach to organic food Dean was in to start getting these products on the shelf for you to buy.
So welcome to Chaiguy, have a look around and we hope you find what you need to learn about our products, about where it all comes from, and most of all get to taste the difference. Thank you for your support in growing the world wide organic and sustainable food movement.
Deliciously responsible cacao and coconut products.
From all things raw, to working to build sustainable livelihoods for their farmer partners, to being good stewards of ecology, Big Tree Farms is a champion for a brighter future in food and it’s an ethos that starts right at the top.
Ben Ripple, one of the founders, had set a foundation of six long years in sustainable agriculture on his small Balinese farm but, in 2006 things quickly began to evolve towards the company as it is today, when Big Tree Farms started to work with a small group of cacao farmers on Western Bali. The goal was to create more transparent market access for these farmers, by helping add value to their cacao and selling to the global premium chocolate market.
It was pure serendipity that Ben was introduced to Frederick Schilling, the founder of Dagoba, Co-founder of the ‘ Fairtrade’ brand & concept , and an innovator in gourmet and organic chocolate. With Frederick’s expertise, and a lot of hard work, our cacao program flourished and became the global model for a transparent sustainable cacao program. The next question was, “how can we add more value to the cacao and not just sell the bulk beans?” The answer was clear, our marvelous beans transformed into deliciously responsible chocolate products.
Big Tree Farms operates what we call sustainable supply chains on more than 10 islands across Indonesia’s archipelago of 17,000 islands and atolls. These sustainable supply chains are actually deeply involved social relationships with individual farmers and community farmer groups. The producers involved become part of our tight-knit community and their needs, hopes and dreams become integral to our corporate vision.
When Big Tree Farms first began growing bio-intensively in the central highlands of Bali, the vision was to create a sustainable model of small-scale agriculture for growers in the humid tropics. An immaculate cultural heritage of sustainable farming had been nearly wiped out years before by transnational campaign extolling the market-oriented virtues of the new commercial farm culture. High input use and overly intensive production systems were established and quickly zapped the strength of the fragile tropical soils.
The beautiful system of old simply didn’t work economically, and the precepts of “new” farming simply didn’t work ecologically. Small farmers were becoming disenfranchised and anything began to look better than the choice to farm. The key to the model developed by Big Tree Farms was creating the power of choice. By creating a model that worked both economically and ecologically, small farmers were able to celebrate the unique attributes of their agricultural heritage while still succeeding in the marketplace. The farms are finally “working” for the farmers.
All the while, the focus on expanding their organic coconut supply chain never slowed. In 2008, what was a supply chain built on 350 farmers, has now blossomed into the world’s largest and most sustainable coconut supply chain, impacting over 14,000 organic farmers
Big Tree Farms, is now Indonesia’s largest organic food company, operating SE Asia’s largest organic integrated supply chain. It was started in 2003 as a small-scale organic farming training venture and has developed into a vertically integrated social enterprise focused on production and export of food products for retail and ingredient channels globally. Big Tree Farms corporate mission is to inspire beneficial change through the creation of innovative and health-forward food products that provide sustainable health, economy and environment to the customers, farmer/suppliers and company community.
Here at The chai Guy we are the proud New Zealand distributors for AMMA CHOCOLATE
100% Brazilian chocolate is unlike most you would have ever tried.
AMMA gathers all the attributes that define a premium chocolate, and goes beyond. Crafted in Bahia, by Diego Badaró, from fine, organic cacao beans – grown under the shades of the Atlantic rainforest, to be carefully fermented and gently roasted – to bars, AMMA Chocolate hits the market with the strength of the world’s highest biodiversity. One bite will suffice to notice that AMMA is a special gem. With its shiny surface, sharp snap and powerful aroma, the piece will slowly melt in your mouth, revealing layers of complex flavors, a characteristic of the finest chocolates.
The excellence and pioneerism of Diego’s work with his team have also been recognized by relevant prizes. In 2012, AMMA was awarded a Golden Medal in the “Growing Country” category during the American phase of International Chocolate Awards. In 2010, it was elected “Product of the Year” by Paladar Gastronomy Awards, one of Brazil’s main publicatons in the field, which’s annual awards are highly coveted, and in 2011, Prazeres da Mesa, Brazil’s main food and wine magazine, awarded AMMA the prize of “Gastronomic Craftsmanship”. Single Origin Cacao and the producing rainforest Fifth generation in a traditional family of cacao producers from Ilhéus, Southern Bahia, Diego Badaró is changing the frame of mind of the farmers in the region, which in a not very distant past, raised Brazil to the position of world’s biggest cacao producer. Patiently and respectfully, this 32 years old young man is showing that the preservation of the rainforest and its biodiversity isn’t merely an environmental matter. It is the definitive path for those who wish to make it in the competitive, and at times obscure, cacao business. The organic cultivation, focused on sustainability and promoting the reforestation of the original area were the solutions Diego found to recover his plantations from the plague of Witches’ Broom, a fungus endemic to the Amazon, responsible for the destruction of the majority of cacao farms in the region.
Grown amidst the rainforest, the cacao fruit has found, under the shades of native trees, the protection and biological balance it needs to grow strong and healthy. Those principles orientate the work carried out in the farms that supply AMMA with fine cacao. The fruits are harvested by hand, undergoing a slow fermentation process, with strict temperature control. Subsequently, the beans are dried naturally, under the sun. Those two stages are extremely important, once they determine the flavor and aroma precursors inside the cacao beans.
Another fundamental step is a gentle and precise roast, each kind of bean deserving a specific profile, in order to further develop its aromas and the sensory potential born during fermentation. The roast profiles are determined by Diego, who personally supervises every step in the production at AMMA’s factory, in Salvador.
Brain Wallace, Founder of Endorfin’s foods said; My spark for chocolate began when I had my first sample of raw cacao beans – the seeds of the Theobroma cacao tree and the botanical source of all things chocolate. A subtle euphoria gently washed over me, awakening my mind & enlivening me from within. I quickly realized that the “chocolate” I’d had most of my life was so over-processed and diluted with refined sugar & milk that it barely resembled the original food crop it was derived from. A few months later, I quit my job to travel the world in search of the perfect cacao bean, and to apprentice with any teacher who would share their skills with me. I became inspired to create a new style of chocolate, one that synthesized classical European technology, modern nutritional research, and the ethereal aspects of cacao familiar to the ancient Maya & Aztec. I founded Endorfin’s several years and hundreds of recipes later, to reintroduce cacao to the modern world as the highly nutritive, uplifting ‘food of the gods’ that it once was.
Endorfin’s foods, formulates each recipe from scratch using the highest quality cacao they can find, employing just the right amount of whole food sweeteners, spices, & essential oils to let the brilliance of the ingredients speak for themselves. They have chosen not to roast thecacao beans, which allows them deliver the maximum range of flavor & antioxidants possible with every bar they make. They never adulterate or dilute the products with anything that would cheapen or minimize the vitality-promoting aspects inherent to their unique style of processing, hence the lack of any dairy, soy, or refined sugar in anything they create. In essence, their products unite old school purist ethos with modern technology & craftsmanship, resulting in a timeless picture of indulgence that is intrinsically sustainable and nourishing to the soul.