Chocolatiering DIY Chocolate Making

Where to Buy Cacao Pods & Cocoa Beans for Chocolate-Making

where to buy cacao pods and cocoa beans usa uk

Having trouble finding ingredients for your chocolate-craft? In this guide, we discuss where to buy cacao pods & cocoa beans for chocolate-making in the USA & UK, with links to online suppliers you can order your pods and beans from.

Making your own chocolate is a satisfying craft, after-all, not only are you learning some fascinating skills and knowledge, but you get to eat the end creation (or gift it, if you’re feeling generous). However, a roadblock to many chocolate-makers is sourcing the raw ingredients, that is, the cacao pods and cocoa beans.

In this article, we share information and links to online suppliers of both these ingredients to the USA and UK, and by the end of this article you will have a clear idea of precisely where to buy cacao pods and cocoa beans for your chocolate-crafting needs.

HOW & Where to Buy Cacao Pods & Cocoa Beans for Chocolate Making?

Buying cacao pods or cocoa beans to produce chocolate commercially or just to experience the bean-to-bar process is something most enthusiastic chocolatiers want to try. Cacao pods are more problematic to source due to their more remote cultivation, as well as the logistics of fresh fruit transport. Supply within the US is better for both cacao pods and beans, with several choices of suppliers for where to buy cacao pods and beans in the USA, while UK suppliers offer steady stocks of beans but only periodic stocks of pods.

Considerations for Buying Cacao Pods and Beans Online

How to Store Cacao Pods and Beans

While the requirements for shipping fresh cacao pods and cocoa beans aren’t as restrictive as shipping chocolate in the post, it is still important to be mindful of their storage needs and ensure your supplier is packing them properly, to ensure your product arrives in excellent condition.

Cacao pods are generally grown in the more remote regions of South and Central America, the Caribbean, and Africa, and consequently, the shipping distance to most customers will be longer. The Cacao pod is physically robust for a fruit, but it still needs careful handling and storage to maintain its best flavour. The pods are best stored in a cool, dry environment with good airflow to restrict mold growth. Keep them out of direct sunlight, as the combination of UV light and heat may lead to off flavours.

Cocoa beans are more resilient for storage than cacao pods but are sensitive to humidity and will actively absorb moisture from the air. They are best stored in dry, cool conditions with good airflow and away from other products if flavour transfer is possible.

How Many Cacao Pods and Cocoa Beans Do I Need to Buy?

Key Facts:

  • Buying eight pods for about $135 will make less than a pound of chocolate.
  • Approximately 420 dried cocoa beans are required to produce 1 lb chocolate.

Remember, making chocolate from cacao pods creates a lot of waste. You will only use the cacao beans, discarding the pod’s pulp and husk. It takes time to process the beans, too, involving about a week to ferment them and three weeks to dry them sufficiently before grinding. However, the understanding you will gain from bean-to-bar production is very rewarding.

where to buy cacao pods fresh usa uk
There are several online options for where to buy cacao pods fresh in the USA, but very few in the UK. (Photo source: Ayla Marika, Tim Duck & taken at the Australian Chocolate Farm, October 2023).

Where to Buy Cacao Pods and Cocoa Beans in the USA

Where to Buy Cacao Pods (Fresh) and Cocoa Beans (Dried)

Meridian Cacao

Location: Portland, Oregon

Business Website:

A small but established supplier which has numerous positive reviews. They also sell cocoa butter and cacao liquor. They supply smaller orders for home cooks, as well as wholesale pricing discounts for bulk orders.

Product Details:

  • Cacao Pods: 8 whole cocoa pods, $135.00
  • Cocoa Beans: Order beans from India, Vietnam, Madagascar & Ecuador $15.00/kg or $70.00/5 kg + $12.02 US shipping.
  • Shipping: Free continental US shipping for cacao pods and by weight for cacao beans.
  • Pickup: Orders can also be collected free from Portland, Oregon.

Tropical Fruit Box

Location: Miami, Florida

Business Website:

The Cuban-American family behind Tropical Fruit Box has been sourcing exotic and tropical produce from Florida, the Caribbean, and Central and South America for over 35 years.

Product Details:

  • Cacao Pods: 8 whole cocoa pods $109.00 or 16 whole cocoa pods $129.00.
  • Other Products: They also sell a Chocolatier’s Apprentice Box containing 5 pods, a silicon mold of the cacao fruit flower and an instruction booklet for making chocolate from the beans. $109.00
  • Shipping: Free continental US shipping for cacao pods. Pods are shipped in sleeves for protection.

Miami Fruit

Location: Miami, Florida

Business Website:

A small family-run tropical fruit supplier based in Miami, selling cocoa pods imported from Ecuador. All fruits are sustainably grown in Ecuador.

For Cacao Pods, choose between:

  • Small Box containing up to 3-5 lbs of cocoa pods. $127.00
  • Large Box containing up to 8-10 lbs. $177.00
  • Extra Large Box containing up to 16-20 lbs. $297.00

Other Product Details:

  • Shipping: $19.99 Continental US.
  • Other Products: Miami Fruit also sells a selection of freeze-dried products, including freeze-dried cacao, at $17.00/45g.

Chocolate Academy

Location: Eugene, Oregon

Business Website:

The Chocolate Academy website is a great source of information and tutorials about the ingredients and techniques associated with chocolate. The company is well established and is often quoted as a reliable and quality supplier on review sites.

Cocoa Beans: The Chocolate Academy sells various cocoa beans from many different sources, including Bolivia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela, as well as from African countries such as Tanzania and the Ivory Coast.

Product Details:

  • Cocoa Beans: The retail order quantity is 1-5 lbs, with Bolivian beans costing $12.07-$55.17 respectively. Each bean variety is listed with useful information about flavour notes, origin, roasting and characteristics.
  • Shipping: $11.50 for a 5 lb pack Continental US.

Uncommon Cacau

Location: Arvada, Colorado

Business Website:

The company is a large, international, speciality cacao trader with warehouses in Colorado and the Netherlands. They supply numerous larger chocolate manufacturers worldwide, coordinating cocoa beans from over 15 countries and more than 10,000 smaller growers.

Supply countries include the Dominican Republic, the Philippines, Peru, Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, Ghana, and Uganda. However, they also supply smaller retail quantities for home cooks, which can be shipped internationally.

Product Details:

  • Cocoa Beans: 1 kg Pisa beans from Haiti $22.00
  • Shipping: $9.34 shipping.
where to buy cocoa beans for chocolate online usa uk
Due to their easier storage and transport, there are several options for where to cocoa beans (dried) in the USA and UK. (Photo source: Ayla Marika, Tim Duck & taken at the Australian Chocolate Farm, October 2023).

Where to Buy Cocoa Beans & Cacao Pods in the UK

Where to Buy Cacao Pods (Fresh) and Cocoa Beans (Dried)

The number of fresh cocoa pod suppliers is limited in the UK. Several suppliers have cocoa pods on their website inventory but with no stock. It would be worthwhile doing a fresh online search for ‘UK cacao pod for sale’ just before you need to buy, as stock levels fluctuate throughout the year. The two suppliers listed below stock pods but at inflated prices.

Nutrition Kingz

Location: Exotics London, EC1V

Business Website:

A London greengrocer selling hand-picked fruits, vegetables, and exotics from around the world.

They sell raw cacao pods from Ecuador with 3-4 pods in a case for £86.50 with free UK shipping.

London Grocery

Location: London, E17

Business Website:

London Grocery is an established online grocery wholesaler and retailer based in Walthamstow, London.

A 1 kg cocoa pod imported from St Lucia £28.70 & £19.99 UK shipping.

Cocoa Hub

Location: London, IG1

Business Website:

Cocoa Hub is a London-based supplier of cocoa beans, cocoa butter, cocoa mass, and bean-to-bar chocolate machinery. Beans are stocked from suppliers in Central America, the Caribbean, Latin and South America, India, and Africa.

Prices range from £7.99 to £13.50 per kilo with an additional £5.00 shipping, and the order size can range from 1 to 15 kg. Many suppliers are smaller farmers, and each listing details how the cacao is grown along with details on the harvest, post harvest processing and the characteristic flavours.


There you have, our quick guide to where to buy cacao pods (fresh) and where to buy cocoa beans (dried) in the USA and UK. Just remember, that once your package arrives, make sure you store it in good condition, as described earlier in this piece, until you are ready to use them.

Fresh cacao pods, like any fresh fruit or vegetable, should be processed (fermented) as soon as possible. After you receive the fresh cacao pods, remove the cocoa beans and start the fermentation process. Ideally, start collecting and setting up your fermentation equipment while the cacao pods are still in the post, so once you receive them you can get started right away. For detailed cocoa fermentation instructions, check out our tutorials here:

Happy chocolatiering!

Are you a stockist or supplier of fresh cacao pods and dried cocoa beans, to the general public? If so, please contact us for information of getting your business listed here.

Article Author

  • Simon Knott

    Simon Knott studied a BSc Hons in Catering Management, Food Science, and Nutrition at Oxford Brookes University and started writing in 2006, specialising in food and drink. He worked as Food & Drink Editor for two county magazines, interviewing chefs and local food producers. In 2010 Simon started a company making traditional fudges and chocolate products. The company quickly grew, supplying local outlets and Simon was awarded five Gold Great Taste Awards for his products. Simon recently completed a Diploma in Copywriting, and continues to write about food and drink, business and skiing.

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