In the back gardens of Nakhon Si Thammarat province, the two friends Phurich and Warit discovered neglected cocoa trees and saw the opportunity to make something meaningful out of them.

So the two friends founded PARADAi, which means friendship in Thai. After two years of preparation, PARADAi opened its first craft chocolate café with a small craft factory in the old town of Bangkok in 2018.

PARADAi sources its cocoa directly from local smallholders in various growing regions in Thailand. Thai cocoa is becoming more and more well-known, particularly through international competitions, and is slowly receiving the recognition it deserves.

Phurich, one of the two founders of Paradai, shares their vision: “The cost of buying cocoa beans from local farmers is higher than importing them. But Paradai strives to develop a circular economy, promote local cocoa cultivation in Thailand and the consumption of local products, and produce more sustainably.”

Here, small farmers cultivate their land according to the traditional farming system. The cocoa is cultivated together with mangos, bananas, coconuts and other fruits, as well as spices and herbs, so that a resilient system with a high level of biodiversity is created. They do not need pesticides, nor do they need to fell trees.

Paradai works with a local illustrator friend and wraps the chocolates in beautiful recycled paper with designs inspired by traditional Thai patterns. With striking patterns and two Ramakien characters – the giant and Mekhala – they convey Thai culture through their packaging.

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