Casa Cortés and History of Chocolate Cortés

The popular brand Chocolate Cortés has existed since 1929, with a huge presence in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. In the fall of 2013, the Cortés family opened the Casa Cortés ChocoBar downstairs from their art gallery in Old San Juan, which serves breakfast, lunch, tapas and drinks all with a chocolate touch. The atmosphere is modern and sleek, using all sorts of chocolate inspired decorations. The Casa Cortés ChocoBar has been positioned to appeal to the modern, more youthful image Chocolate Cortés is targeting in their new marketing campaign.

Inside the storefront in Old San Juan you can watch a short video on how Chocolate Cortés is made, the entire process. The Cortés family has been producing chocolate for more than 80 years. The cacao used is grown (and cultivated) in both Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, the two Caribbean islands where they have the greatest presence.

Casa Cortés ChocoBar is a restaurant & art gallery in Old San Juan where almost everything on the menu incorporates Chocolate Cortés as an ingredient. Operated by the Cortés family, they have opened this venue to share some of their great family treasures. The art gallery, located on the second floor, has been open with free admission for a couple of years and features some of the family’s large fine art collection. While observing La Colección Chocolate Cortés, you will be offered hot chocolate to sip on. The art collection includes contemporary pieces from around the Caribbean, South America, and Central America.

Chocolate Cortés has launched a new marketing campaign with the slogan “pidiendo cacao”, which in Spanish means “asking for it”, but literally translates to “asking for cacao”. While sales of Chocolate Cortés’ traditional products has been remaining strong in the last several years, the company is targeting younger consumers to further increase its sales and remain relevant over time.

The campaign, launched in February 2014 at Casa Cortés, will include cultural events, activities on social media and traditional media advertising. The campaign presents new products to modernize the brand, become a source of conversation in popular culture, and opens Chocolate Cortés’ lines of communication to new younger audiences.

Chocolate Cortés will continue innovating their product line and expanding. They plan to make their products more readily available in the main stream, especially making their ready-made hot chocolate available in many places. They have already added three flavors to their chocolate bar line: Cortés Premium Waffle Cone, an extra creamy milk chocolate with waffle cone chips; Cortés Premium Cacao, an extra creamy milk chocolate with cocoa nibs; and Cortés Premium Coffee, a mix of extra creamy milk chocolate with a touch of coffee.

We are all excited to see what else Chocolate Cortés releases in the near future and recommend everyone in the Old San Juan area take the time to stop by Casa Cortés ChocoBar to get some delicious chocolate infused food and experience the elegant art gallery.

Interesting Chocolate Facts:

  • Cacao originated in the Amazon and was brought by human beings to Central America, which could possibly extend its beginnings to some four millennia ago. The scientific denomination is Theobroma cocoa, which means “food for the gods.”
  • Flavonoids found in cocoa products have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-clotting effects that can reduce the risk of diabetes by improving insulin sensitivity.
  • The total chocolate market is $66 Billion (2012).

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