Episode 3 Cultura Chocolate

For Damaris Ronkanen, Cultura Chocolate is more than a business. Her bean-to-bar chocolate-making company in Denver's Westwood neighborhood has become a pathway to reconnecting with her Latin roots and a place to empower communities locally and abroad.
Apr 18, 2024 — 1 min read



Damaris Ronkanen is the owner of the bean-to-bar chocolate-making company, Cultura Chocolate, in Denver's Westwood neighborhood.

About this video series

Only In Denver: A Mi Manera

Only In Denver: A Mi Manera

Only In Denver highlights five Latinx-owned businesses, where each entrepreneur discusses the importance of how their culture and heritage shapes their work. These episodes are titled A Mi Manera, or My Way, as a means to honor Latinx business owners around the world.

See full series


Damaris Ronkanen: When I first started making chocolate, it was wanting to start a business. It was wanting to be my own boss. It was wanting to have my products all over the country. It's just having this big brand. Honestly, my definition of success is not that anymore. Success for me is being here, being a space to empower our community and continue to allow our community to thrive.

Growing up here, I didn't necessarily always feel connected to my Mexican heritage. There weren't a lot of other Latino kids. I struggled with where do I fit in.

Some of my fondest memories was going to Mexico and specifically visiting my grandmother and just watching her. My favorite thing to do was just follow her around everywhere and everything was always made by hand. I had always go to the markets in the morning with her and all the fresh fruits, all the stalls, all the vendors. It's just magical in my mind. Watching her literally just flatten out a tortilla was remarkable, and it was more as an adult that I started to really try to connect with that more, and it was always through food and became chocolate specifically that allowed me to connect.

Chocolate honestly, for me is it’s symbolic of my heritage. Seeing it from the cacao pod to the final chocolate bar, so beautiful and it's what inspires me to make chocolate. I hire people from this community, people who can relate to this process and really feel inspired and empowered by what we're doing. My entire team is involved in what we create.

Part of why people come to our events is because this community really cares about one another. That means so much to me. I feel so close to so many people here. That is the mentality that we're trying to foster here with the small businesses that we work with. The reality is I really believe that we're all here to support one another, and by coming together, we're stronger.


“A Mi Manera,” or “My Way,” is a reflection of business owners’ courage to do things on their own terms.

More from this video series


Episode 2 Antojitos La Poblanita

Apr 18, 2024 — 1 min read

Episode 4 Steadyhand Barber

Apr 18, 2024 — 1 min read

Tell us a little more about yourself to gain access to the resource.

i Enter your first name.
i Enter your last name.
i Enter a valid email.
i Enter a valid phone number.
i Enter your company name.
i Select estimated annual revenue.
i This field is required.

Thank you!
Check your email for your resource.

Results for

Based on your region, we recommend viewing our website in:

Continue to ->