Don’t you just love a good story, especially when it involves chocolate? That’s what we found when we paid a visit to the coast’s only chocolate factory in the picturesque village of Mijas. Eli Mcarthy and partner Jason Goodwin have spent the past year on a dream journey learning the craft of artisan chocolate making. It all started on holiday in the Alpujarras when they came across a chocolate shop in Pampaneira. Looking for a new business to launch together they were both immediately taken with the idea of opening a chocolate factory back on the Costa del Sol, and so Mayan Monkey Mijas (mmm…) was born. With the help of their new friend in the Alpujarras and a year of fast learning, lots of chocolate making and boundless enthusiasm, their work has paid off and, in early March, La Chispa was the first customer through the door of their premises on the balcony of Plaza de la Constitucion, one of Mijas’s pretty squares.
Starting with a range of hand-made milk chocolate, Eli and Jason plan to start simple and gradually introduce up to 40 different types. “We are planning our range of chocolate around fresh, locally sourced, Andalucian ingredients like figs, honey, chilli and whatever else is in season at the time,” explained Jason with all the excitement of someone who has just met Willy Wonka. “Hand crafted chocolate is totally different from mass produced bars, we can make small amounts of lots of different varieties and we hope to be able to make custom editions for hotels and restaurants.” Visitors can see the chocolate being made on site and Eli will be on hand to explain the process to those interested in knowing more than just how good it tastes. We’re looking forward to the first bar of Chispa chocolate – how would that taste?
Edificio “Alcazaba”, No. 254 Plaza de la Constitución
29650 Mijas, Spain
Tel: 600 088 542
This post is also available in: Spanish