The Cortés Visitors Center is a museum designed to delight the whole family. This historical and cultural space was created as part of Cortés Hermanos’ commitment to culture, education and awareness of cocoa cultivation and chocolate production in the country and the world.
Visiting this center is to travel in the imagination through more than 90 years of Cortés Hermanos’ corporate history, as well as to observe some of the machines used in the production process, learn about the origin of cocoa and chocolate, and listen to amusing and interesting anecdotes from different periods of the company’s history.
Also, it is to know and learn about the different brands that are part of the company and its main characteristics. “Once inside the museum it is possible to learn about the entire chocolate manufacturing process, from the cultivation of the cocoa bean and its origins in the cocoa-growing areas of the country, to its transformation into this “sweet object of desire”, said Juan Cohen Marmolejos, manager of the cultural center.
As he explained, this space, located at Kilometer 24 of the Duarte Highway, Pedro Brand, is also a multi-sensory experience that begins with the entrance to a cinema where the journey of the Cortés family through Spain, Puerto Rico and their arrival in the Dominican Republic is explained, followed by an adventure in images and machines that show the different processes that cocoa goes through until it becomes chocolate, “considered the favorite food of the gods”.
Cohen Marmolejos expressed that the museum’s commitment is to offer visitors an experience of flavor, culture and history of chocolate in the country, whose plant where it is located is technologically advanced and processes up to eight thousand tons of cocoa.
“The Cortés Visitors Center offers a multisensory experience, in which in addition to seeing, smelling and touching, we can taste dishes and beverages with chocolate as the main ingredient,” said Cohen.
Everything starts with the history of the company since its founding in 1929, the stages of cocoa processing for the production of chocolate in a multisensory way, as well as the qualities of the brand’s product menu.
In its different areas, it invites you to know, enjoy and believe in the great potential of Caribbean cocoa and its food par excellence, chocolate.
To enjoy this “sweet experience”, Don Chocolatín or Cacaíto, the museum’s mascot, explains during a tour the different stages of cocoa processing for chocolate production, and the history of the Cortés Hermanos family.
“This center is a surprising space that shows interesting aspects of a delicious and daily food such as chocolate, which we can appreciate through its “Choco cinema”, where a short documentary summarizing the history of the company and the stages of cocoa processing is projected.
In its “Historical Room”, the evolution of the company from its beginnings to the present day is shown, while in the “Anecdotes Room”, visitors can enjoy curious stories of the organization at important moments in the history of the Dominican Republic, such as the San Zeno Cyclone, the Trujillo dictatorship, the Pan American Games, the April Revolution, among other stories.
Another of its spaces is the “Cocoa Processing”, where you can learn about all the stages that cocoa goes through to obtain chocolate, from the farm to the palate.
The “Mini Factory” shows the machines used to produce chocolate, while the “Advertising Wall” houses the labels that have accompanied the different products over the years. Another space is the “Sobrino Park”, which is a green area outside the museum with various games for children to enjoy.
“To make the visit even more delicious, there is a restaurant on site, where it is possible to enjoy dishes and drinks with chocolate as the main ingredient,” said Cohen Marmolejos.
Four generations of history
In 1929, in Santo Domingo, a visionary businessman named Pedro Cortés Forteza founded the company Cortés Hermanos. From its beginnings, the solid foundations were laid for the development of appreciated brands, technological advances, service vocation, and closeness to customers and consumers.
According to Cohen Marmolejos, this space has been created to highlight the values of tradition and knowledge about chocolate, as well as to reinforce the 90 years of history that Cortés Hermanos has in the Dominican market, “becoming a tool that contributes to education and culture through an experience that strengthens the bond and emotional values between the consumer and the brand.
His intention is to strengthen the communication of the company and its brands with the new generations, as well as to contribute to raising awareness among children and adults about the importance of cocoa cultivation and chocolate production for the Dominican Republic and the world.
He expressed that the Cortés Visitors Center aspires to be a place of fun, culture and education for the entire Dominican family, whose facilities are open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday from nine in the morning to four in the afternoon.