About Us

Ao Cacao : The World Of Cacao

Cacao is not indigenous to Aotearoa, We are not claiming it. Ao Cacao was created by Thomas Netana Wright. An elite level trained pastry chef and chocolatier / chocolate maker. Inspired by his family heritage or Whakapapa. Thomas combines his illustrious heritage on both sides and in both worlds to create an expression of what conscious ethical chocolate is. 
Thomas' Whakapapa connects to Te Ao Māori (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Whatua, Te Whakatōhea) & Te Ao Pakehā (Jewish & English)
Being an indigenous man, Thomas believes in people first. 
Our approach is simple
Respect the history of cacao, Respect the People, Be Transparent and Be a good ancestor.
We work with indigenous producers and celebrate everyone directly.
Direct sourcing, life long relationship building, people first, celebrating the terroir of the Pacific and Aoteaora.
Inspired by our ancestors
London origins means Thomas' mother's family and career beginnings, Thomas is the last direct descendant of the Wright's Dairy in Chelsea in London established in 1796 Thomas' family were artisans in the dairy industry creating a famous dairy business in Chelsea, London for over 200 years. The dairy was sold before Thomas' was born however their history inspires and drives Thomas everyday to create a craft to be proud about for generations to come. 

The Modern Epoch: Culinary Artistry Meets Social Responsibility

Born to a unique blend of Jewish and Māori heritage, Thomas embarked on a culinary journey in 2011. Under the mentorship of the esteemed William Curley in London, he mastered the intricate arts of patisserie and chocolaterie, even gracing the kitchens of 3-Michelin-starred establishments.

The Renaissance: Ao Cacao—A Revolution in Chocolate Excellence

In 2021, Ao Cacao was born out of Thomas's long-held vision to revolutionise the chocolate industry. As a Māori-owned and indigenous enterprise, we are committed to bringing equity and equality to the cacao and chocolate sectors. We collaborate closely with Pacific cacao farmers and indigenous producers, ensuring that our creations are not just luxurious but also a testament to indigenous excellence.

The Journey Ahead: Join Us in Crafting a New Legacy

Our trajectory has been momentus, gaining accolades through various publications, television features, and representing Aotearoa on the world stage in Paris. Yet, this is merely the beginning. We invite you to join us in this transformative journey as we usher in a new era of Ao Cacao, where luxury meets social responsibility.