Forget Willy Wonka, we have our own chocolate factory in Playa!

Ah Cacao Chocolate Factory Playa Del Carmen

Ah Cacao is a local coffee house and chocolate seller. Not only are they a great local company but they also work hard to preserve the Mayan and Mexican cultural richness in the form of coffee and chocolate. Since 2004 this company has been expanding and providing locals and tourist with a rich taste of Mexico.

Tip: We recommend visitors to stop by one of their cafes on 5th Avenue for a taste, especially the Mayan hot chocolate!

We wanted to show you a little behind the scenes and take you inside their chocolate factory here in Playa. Perhaps after learning a little more about this company and their products you will have more appreciation for that next coffee or bite of chocolate.

The Ah Cacao Chocolate Factory

Well, there were no rivers of chocolate and lollypop trees, but we did find happy people and a thousand sweet smells coming from their kitchen. There were pans of brownies coming out of the oven, cookies being packaged, and melting chocolate on the stove.

While this is not as fanciful as a movie set for a chocolate factory, they still do some amazing things. For example, they covered the roof with solar panels which provides the energy for the factory. The entire building is designed to keep cool in the tropical climate without using air-conditioning (there is some sections with air conditioning for the products but the offices and about 70% is naturally cooled).

Ah Cacao Chocolate Factory Playa Del Carmen
Here are stacks of chocolate molds that are used for their boxed chocolates.

At the factory they have the offices for the company, packing and shipping, research is done and training. Not only does this company work hard for a sustainable building they also use products taken from sustainable farming methods and contribute to the preservation of forest and cultural heritage. At Ah Cacao all the employees share in the profits of the company and a sense of pride is show in their work.

Ah Cacao Chocolate Factory Playa Del Carmen
Inside the Ah Cacao chocolate factory.

Since this company is based in Playa Del Carmen, they have their production center here. It is not open to the public but you certainly get to experience the end result of what goes on in the factory.

Ah Cacao by the Numbers

70 is the number of people that work at Ah Cacao.

5,500 is the number of their famous chocolaty brownies they sell every month.

1,400 is the number of mini carrot cakes they sell each month.

1 ton is the amount of coffee they use and sell each month.

1/2 ton is the amount of chocolate they go through in one month!

1,800 is the number of chocolate cake slices people consume each month at Ah Cacao cafes.

Ah Cacao Chocolate Factory Playa Del Carmen
The new flavorful chocolate bars from Ah Cacao.

4 Reason you should feel good about eating chocolate!

  1. Small cacao plantations attract and protect at least 80 different species of birds.
  2. Eating cacao helps save tropical forest. It provides a viable solution for jobs and working with the environment.
  3. Cacao trees are nitrogen fixers, helping all other trees grow better.
  4. Cacao trees are a buffer against tropical deforestation.

As if you really needed more reasons for eating chocolate! Who does not feel good after eating chocolate?

Ah Cacao Chocolate Factory Playa Del Carmen
A cacao pod which is where chocolate comes from.

Ah Cacao’s Reward Card System

For those of you who go often to Ah Cacao did you know they love regular customers and reward you for purchases? You can ask for a free card at any of Ah Cacao’s three locations in Playa Del Carmen.

How does it work?

When you get your card, they will ask for your name and number. This does not have to be a local number, just a reference for you. You can collect points at each store.  If you go to multiple Ah Cacao locations you will need to register your card with your name and number at each one (this only takes a minute) and you will have your points added to your account after a purchase. Since the system is not integrated you will have a tally of points at each store location.

How to get points

You will get 1 point for every peso you spend on a drink at Ah Cacao (i.e. coffee, Mayan hot chocolate but not products not made by Ah Cacao).

For desserts and chocolate products you purchase you get 1/2 point for every peso you spend.

The Reward

When you reach 300 pesos you will get a 30-peso coupon. Your points never expire so even if you come for a few months a year you can purchase coffee and desserts at Ah Cacao and keep collecting points for your next time you are in Playa Del Carmen. Then you can treat yourself to something!


We hope you have enjoyed looking behind the scenes of this company. A special thanks to the people of Ah Cacao for the tour of their factory and for being such a responsible local company.

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1 Comment

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Ah Cacao. I never knew they made the chocolate in Playa Del Carmen.

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