Behind the Brand
Raaka was founded in 2010 by Ryan Cheney and Nate Hodge. Ryan, an Austin native, was working in the tech industry when — unfulfilled by this job and lured by love — he decided to take a sabbatical and move to Thailand for 9 months. There, he joined a yoga school and learned a new way of life, including how to make raw chocolate truffles. This experience ultimately became the inspiration for Raaka, meaning "raw, wild, or untamed" in Finnish.
After returning home, Ryan — wanting to live a more impactful and less processed life — decided to quit his job and start an organic bean-to-bar chocolate company. He partnered up (via Craigslist ad!) with his friend Nate Hodge and started out by buying 5-10 pound bags of cocoa beans from fair-trade farmers and making chocolate by hand in his tiny Brooklyn apartment, selling at the local farmer's market. Today, Nate leads the 25-person Raaka team as CEO & Head Chocolate Maker. Raaka makes all of their unroasted dark chocolate from bean-to-bar at their chocolate factory in Red Hook, Brooklyn, supporting their local community and small-producer cacao farmers across the world. They are delighting consumers with their consciously-crafted and single-origin chocolate products.