Mokaya is a chocolate boutique located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and we are all about chocolate! Although we opened the doors of our retail shop in the spring of 2016, Mokaya has been a work in progress for many years. Let’s go back a few millennia first...
The name Mokaya is from an ancient Mesoamerican culture of Central America predating the Mayans. Dating back to at least 1900 B.C., the Mokaya or Corn People created a drink from cacao. More recently, archaeologists excavated a few bowls attributed to the Mokaya from a Utah village that contained traces of several compounds found in chocolate. This may be the earliest evidence of chocolate in North America. We “borrowed” an image found on one of these unearthed bowls and use it as part of our Mokaya logo.
The idea of our Mokaya chocolate was born in the year 2000. We started to make chocolates for customers at The Catering Company on a very small level. After successfully passing ourselves off as candy makers, we decided that we needed to study everything we could about chocolate and the fine art of creating truffles. Therefore, we sent our chef, Charles Golczynski, to school to become a chocolatier!
Charles studied under the tutelage of world-renowned pastry chef and chocolatier, Luis Amado. Chef Amado’s expertise and willingness to share his knowledge allowed Mokaya’s chocolatier to excel at this craft. Over the next decade of experiments, testing, and mistakes, we developed our own aesthetic as well as flavor profiles. As it turns out, chocolate is a remarkable medium to create edible art! Using the very finest chocolate, we set out to produce uncommon chocolate goods including truffles, confections, pastries, drinks, ice creams…the list goes on!
Mokaya’s goal is to make products that are classic in technique, contemporary in design and utilize outstanding couverture chocolate. All of our cocoa beans are from Latin American countries with fair trade practices. All other ingredients we use are sourced locally first and our products are made in small batches with fresh, natural ingredients. We are always mindful of the components we use. Mixing, matching and pairing our chocolate with interesting flavor profiles are what we do best. All of our products are made in-house and by hand. Although we strive for perfection, our creations have our hand-stamped uniqueness.
We are also intensely aware of our footprint upon this planet, so we use eco-friendly packaging, most of which is recyclable or biodegradable.
Mokaya is committed to ensuring our customers have an extraordinary chocolate experience. It is important to us to have a close relationship with our patrons and community. We will continue to build partnerships with the community and other local businesses. We are proud to be a part of the ever-growing, vibrant culinary culture of Grand Rapids and West Michigan….a place we call home.