About us > Our story
How this venture begins

Since 2015

Cocoa market

Everything started from scratch

Ayissi Nyemba founded EmkaoFoods in 2015 to bring high quality single source & organic local chocolate production to western Canada. As a newcomer to Canada, Ayissi seized the opportunity to establish a female led organization that is committed to producing organic and ethically sourced products that are both kind to the planet and fair to African cocoa bean growers.

Before immigrating to Canada, Ayissi grew up around Kotou Farm and obtained her bachelor’s degree in France. For many years, her family business has produced top quality Grade-I cocoa beans (organic cocoa beans) with crops cultivated in the Esse/Awae, Mefou & Afamba Administrative Division regions of Cameroon. Historically, the farm’s beans were sold in local markets at very low prices which did not allow producers and workers to equitably benefit from sales of their product. This is where the idea of EmkaoFoods Inc. first came about.

The founding mission of the company has been to buy these high quality cocoa beans at a fair price, and to process them into higher value added products for sale in markets abroad in a sustainable and ethical way. This approach would generate a premium product for Emkao’s customers, aid small farmers in Cameroon, and help transform their local economy. In addition, the market for cocoa and chocolate will benefit as there is currently limited access to single-source, organic, Grade-I products.

Since 2015, Emkao has been in the process of forming the business structures necessary for success. Specifically, the company has secured reliable and direct sourcing from the Kotou Farm for cocoa beans in quantities up to 200 metric tonnes per year. This involved significant groundwork to secure the best possible path to procure the beans from the farm to Canadian ports.