Ho Chi Minh City - Deep in the Mekong Delta, two Frenchmen have their heads buried in a sack of cacao beans. The pair, co-founders of Vietnam's first artisan chocolate maker, resurface, murmuring appreciatively.
Farmer Vo Thanh Phuoc caring a cocoa tree at his garden in Go Cong Tay district in the southern province of Tien Giang. (Photos by AFP)
The sweet-toothed entrepreneurs — who quit their day jobs to set up award-winning chocolate company Marou — buy three out of four of 64-year-old farmer Vo Thanh Phuoc's sacks of dried, fermented cacao, paying a premium on the market price for the better-than-average beans.
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