Marsetta Chocolates Jeffray Gardiner has been in the chocolate business for 23 years. He started as a chocolatier in Winnipeg, Canada in 1991. It was not long after moving to Southern California in 2000 that he began his bean to bar business in Torrance. He obtains his beans directly from a cacao farmer in Belize, and another in Peru. In addition to his highly regarded bars, he also creates tantalizing Bon Bons.
you can see from this circa 1843 ad that chocolate in various forms was available. The Northeastern US was in 18th and 19th Centuries was the center of American innovation in new equipment to process chocolate. Along with Philadelphia it was the center of chocolate production. San Francisco would get two major companies in the years during and after the gold rush. Vanilla, along with cacao, was also a plant from the New World.
Marou ,made from a blend of Trinitario and Criollo beans. The chocolate is bean to bar, and they have their own farm. Marou started producing in 2012 , and show the French influence in the bar design and wrappers and seals. Samuel Maruta and Vincent Mouron are the owners . Incidentally, Vietnam has been named a Fine Flavor cacao nation.
These two pieces of a House of Representatives report in 1797 concerns an additional two cents per pound duty on cacao. Then as now taxes on cacao were an important revenue for many governments. At the same time these high duties meant chocolate was not accessible to many people. Until about 1900 in Europe, the working classes could rarely afford chocolate.
I ran across this bar the other day. Attractive packing. If you read the ingredients you see it used COCAO powder. This ingredient makes it cheaper for the manufacturer to make the bar. Sometimes the bar still has a premium price. It may also give the bar an astringent taste. I suggest you go beyond the wrapping and name and find out what the ingredients are just as a normal practice even if you think the taste is the best you have ever had.