“The expression Get Real means something like ‘be real.’ In our case, it translates into the food we offer and our social impact project”, says Mauricio Morea, a graduate in business administration, about the organic chocolate company he founded in 2017 together with his partner, Rodrigo Salgado.
In dialogue with TN, this 52-year-old entrepreneur affirms that they are one of the few producers in the country that make “Bean To Bar” chocolate, or “from the bean to the bar”, based on artisanal production.
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“In our food we use noble, organic ingredients without preservatives or flavorings,” he highlights.
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As raw material, they import a cocoa bean with organic certification, from the Esmeraldas area, in Ecuador, since this crop is not produced in Argentina.
“We buy from an Ecuadorian cooperative of small farmers, who associatively produce and market a national fine aroma cocoa bean, certified organic, Rainforest Alliance and Fair Trade. This brings us a lot of satisfaction, because we feel that by working with them we strengthen farmers who choose a sustainable production method”, he describes.
To make the chocolates, Morea imports a cocoa bean from Ecuador, with organic certification. (Photo: Get Real)
On that, he adds: “Cocoa is like coffee, in that its flavor changes a lot depending on the area. The vast majority of firms in the industry import cocoa paste, which is already roasted with a certain flavor according to the place where it was made. On the other hand, the Bean To Bar method is based on importing the cocoa bean and that gives the possibility of being able to choose the origin and flavor”.
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In turn, Morea asserts that, due to some of its properties, cocoa acts as an anti-stress, as it helps to avoid anxiety and achieve greater relaxation. In turn, it helps prevent cardiovascular diseases, improve blood circulation and lower cholesterol. It also strengthens cognitive functions by improving blood flow to the brain.
The packaging of the products was designed by a branding agency. While the processing of the chocolate is carried out in a factory in the City of Buenos Aires that provides its services to the brand.
“The recipes were developed by my partner and I in a laboratory that the factory owns, until it was the way we liked it. We are there all the time. We seek that those who like chocolate can find an alternative with healthy and good quality ingredients, ”he synthesizes about his proposal.
A brand with “social impact”
From the beginning, Morea knew that he wanted to give his project a social imprint. When his son Antonio was 2 years old, coinciding with the emergence of Get Real, he was diagnosed with autism. From that personal experience, it was then that he decided to support, -financially and with awareness campaigns-, entities focused on the neuroinclusion of people with this condition.
“This topic seems very important to us because today 1 in 36 children is diagnosed within the autism spectrum. In our particular case, with my wife Mariana, who has another job but helps me in this venture, we experience daily the challenges of her inclusion in society for our son, who is currently 9 years old. The activity we do at Get Real gave us the chance to unite the professional with the personal”, she relates.
Antonio, Mauricio’s son, was diagnosed with autism when he was 2 years old. (Photo: Get Real)
The solidarity work they carry out in this area is done jointly with foundations such as Brincar. “This year, on World Autism Month which is in April, we donate 100% of our profits to this cause for a job placement initiative.”
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In this regard, Morea assures that he would like to be able to include people with autism in his staff. “Without a doubt, that is one of our main goals for social impact, because 80% of people with autism are unemployed. We have not yet been able to do it, but we have the idea of implementing it, and even of generating an initiative that is specifically dedicated to employing people with some type of neural disability”.
Get Real supports financially and with awareness campaigns institutions that work on the inclusion of people with autism.
In this sense, he highlights: “Autism is a complex cause that has been growing exponentially, about which much is not known or talked about. For this reason, we are constantly looking for what the real needs are and how to collaborate to generate the greatest possible impact. We have several ideas that we want to develop in the future”, he emphasizes.
Chocolates for all tastes
Among the brand’s products are the classic dark and white milk chocolates for the more traditional consumers. While for those who opt for a more exotic alternative, they offer blends with ginger, chai tea strands, almonds and sea salt.
Meanwhile, Morea highlights that they are vegan certified and offer two varieties based on coconut milk, in addition to 5 dark chocolate alternatives, which are vegan by nature as they do not contain milk among their ingredients, and they have a line of 62%, 73%, 80% and up to 100% cocoa.
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This year they launched 3 new products: organic cocoa powder, organic cocoa nibs and almonds dipped in unsweetened dark chocolate.
“People who practice sports generally look for chocolates to be sugar-free. For this reason, for our products we use xylitol, a sweetener that has a very good taste and that practically does not change the glycemic index, making it suitable for diabetics”, he clarifies.
In this regard, he details that of the 11 varieties of chocolate they offer, 7 are made with organic sugar, 3 with xylitol, and another without sweeteners or sugar, because it is 100% cocoa. While the new chocolate dipped almonds are sweetened with xylitol
All of these products can be found at various health food stores, natural stores, and some supermarket chains throughout the country. “On our Instagram, @getrealchocolate, they will be able to learn more about the brand and the projects on neurodiversity. Soon, we will also launch our online store”.
Growth and export plans
Morea says that, like his partner, he already worked in a company in the field before starting this venture and affirms that they were able to establish themselves in the market quickly. Previously, in addition, he had already had an experience as an entrepreneur by founding a technology company.
“Our idea was to start a healthy chocolate business with the idea of adding other foods in the future. We’ve done well since we started, because we have a small structure, without too many fixed costs, and that allowed us to immediately generate profits, which have been increasing year after year”, he remarks.
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This year, Get Real participated for the first time in Caminos y Sabores, the regional food and beverage fair that held its 17th edition from July 6 to 9 at the La Rural property in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Palermo.
Morea with part of his staff in the latest edition of the Caminos y Sabores fair. (Photo: Get Real)
During the exhibition, they shared their stand with Miel de Campo, another brand with organic certification that was created by María Florencia Del Gener, a young beekeeper who is committed to sustainable production.
“It was a very good experience. The intention was to continue making our proposal known to the public and we left super happy, it met our expectations”, asserted the businessman, who was also part of other fairs.
Looking ahead, Morea says she would like to go beyond borders and market her chocolates in other countries. “Clearly, exporting is one of our objectives and we are already investigating to make shipments to Uruguay,” he concludes enthusiastically.