PORTLAND, OR – Opening in June, Soul Lift Cacao’s first cafe will fuse a chocolate shop and superfood elixir cafe to center ceremonial cacao – sourced entirely by ethical, direct trade, from Mayan indigenous collectives in Guatemala.
Founder Nick Meador discovered that this minimally processed cacao helped him overcome chronic fatigue when not much else made a difference.
Nick traveled through Central America forming equitable partnerships where cacao makers set their own prices and get a say in how their products are shared stateside.
“It’s important to me to give credit to the indigneous people who have considered cacao sacred for thousands of years, and to pay them better than global cocoa standards,” says Meador. Unethical practices like child labor and modern slavery are also too common in the cocoa industry – Soul Lift Cacao aims to fix everything that’s wrong in the chocolate industry.
The bean-to-bar chocolate and Fair Trade movements have made some positive strides. But Soul Lift Cacao’s direct trade model offers more transparency and sends 10-15 times the amount of funds back to the source country even compared to the bean-to-bar model.
The cafe’s slogan: “Cacao is (in) everything.” The menu will actually feature cacao just about every tasty and unique menu item, ranging from drinking chocolate, smoothies, tea, and coffee. Soul Life Cacao Cafe will be totally gluten- and dairy-free to cater to those with dietary restrictions, vegan, as well as only using unrefined coconut sugar and monkfruit to sweeten drinks.
“Originally the word ‘chocolate’ referred to a cacao drink, not a candy bar. Now this superfood drink is coming back,” says Meador, “hot chocolate is no longer just a winter thing.”
Soul Lift Cacao places unique importance on sourcing only cacao paste made from whole-bean cacao that is only lightly toasted over fire. That way the raw beneficial compounds found in cacao such as antioxidants and minerals, as well as Theobromine (a mood-boosting caffeine alternative) stay completely intact. Processing methods that add extra steps can strip cacao’s superfood properties to make common cocoa.
Soul Lift Cacao Cafe will be where chocolate is healthy, and brings together chocolate lovers of the PNW, cutting edge foodies, and those familiar with ceremonial cacao under one roof to enjoy the gift of the magical food – cacao!
Outdoor seating is available on NE Russell, and all necessary COVID precautions will be taken at the cafe.
Online ordering for pickup is available and rewards points are tracked for those that create an account on soulliftcacao.com! Never forget a punch card again!
Find out more at soulliftcacao.com and support for our crowdfunding campaign to help cover launching costs is appreciated!
OPENING: Wednesday June 9th
GRAND OPENING CELEBRATION: Saturday June 12th
CAFE LOCATION: 2601 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Portland, OR 97212
HOURS: Wed – Sat 11am-6pm, Sun 12pm – 5pm. Hours will be extended in the fall.