It is no surprise that the owners of Ki’Xcocolatl are Belgian. After all, Belgium is the country we most often associate with the best chocolates in the world. Mathieu and Stephanie Brees have combined their extensive knowledge about chocolate with their love of Yucatán. Owning four chocolate stores in the land of the Maya, where chocolate originated, is perfect symmetry for them.

After Stephanie finished her studies in hotel management, and Mathieu finished his studies in pastries and chocolate, the couple moved to Venezuela, where they worked at a chocolate store. After a visit to Mérida in 2001, they decided they would start their own chocolate business here…the original source of chocolate!  They purchased a house in Pensiones where they lived and started their chocolate factory. They brought machinery and molds from Belgium, and opened a store in the same location in 2003.

Now the Pensiones property is the factory, but they live elsewhere. Although some would consider it a heavenly concept, they no longer have to eat, breathe and sleep chocolate! They opened a store in Centro, Ki’Xcocolatl on Calle 55, which has now moved a half block up the street to Plaza Santa Lucía; and another store in Colonia Montecristo. Both stores have been successful since the beginning. The Centro location now has a café as well, where you can have a steaming mug of traditional Maya-style hot chocolate and a chocolate brownie to round out your intensely decadent chocolate experience for the day.

Newer ventures for the couple include a chocolate boutique at the elegant Rosas & Xocolate Hotel on Paseo de Montejo. The hotel owner approached them because he knew of the high quality of their products, and wanted to offer exclusive chocolate products to his hotel guests and visitors, as a way of completing his own chocolate theme. Other new projects include offfering their organic products for sale through Amazon, and distribution of their commercial products through larger outlets such as Sam’s.

Mathieu has accompanied Belgian chocolate expert Dominique Persoone on his chocolate research. On the first trip they traveled to Yucatán, Oaxaca, Chiapas, Tabasco, and Guatemala. They learned that the first cacao trees grew in Yucatán! No wonder so much chocolate lore is attributed to the Maya. The result of the research produced an award-winning book and DVD by Persoone, called The Roots of Chocolate, available in English, French and Spanish. The  second trip, in July 2010, included Belize, Honduras, and Guatemala, with some television programs in the works.

Their latest venture is a chocolate museum across from the archaeological site of Uxmal: Choco-Story.

www.ki-xocolatl.com
Centro: Calle 60 x Calle 55, Plaza Santa Lucía
Montecristo: Calle 49 x 32
Número 215, Local 17,
Colonia San Antonio Cucul
Hotel Rosas & Xocolate: Paseo de Montejo x Calle 41

By Juanita Stein

Recommended reading:
Ki’Xcocolatl
Face to Face: Paula Sievert
Face to Face: George Ann Huck
Face to Face: Erich Briehl
Face to Face: Abel Vasquez and Melva Medina
Face to Face: Mathieu & Stephanie Bress
Face to Face: Monique Duval
Face to Face: Dr. Carlos Cabrera
Face to Face: Ralf Hollmann
Face to Face: Connie Leal Delgado
Face to Face: Wayne Trotter

Mathieu and Stephanie Brees have combined their extensive knowledge about chocolate with their love of Yucatán. Owning four chocolate stores in the land of the Maya, where chocolate originated, is perfect symmetry for them.

Esta entrada también está disponible en: ES