The name CoCopelli is not only a play on words but a reference to an ancient god who was a very important figure in the world of chocolate. The chocolate plant was used extensively by the Mayan and Aztecs thousands of years ago. The beans, called Theobroma cacao meaning “food of the gods,” were believed to promote health and even to have aphrodisiac qualities. The beans were ground and made into a thick elixir used in fertility rituals and health-fortifying ceremonies. Kokopelli was the fertility deity in those ancient cultures, where hot drinking chocolate held an important place in the rituals. He was also a traveler, trader and bringer of music, happiness and enjoyment to all.
Bringing happiness is our objective at CoCopelli, too. We strive to make the world a sweeter place, one cupcake and truffle at a time. We plan to make CoCopelli the community expert in all things chocolate and build a sweet tradition in Santa Fe.
Lauren Roybal, Owner
There was never a shortage of tasting spoons in my father’s kitchen. My father brought the rich tradition of European cuisine to our kitchen. He had a knack for home baking and made everything from cakes to chocolate treats. Through high school I worked for a chocolatier and learned about the industry, from a small business perspective, from the ground up. I developed my passion for chocolate the best way; I starting dipping my favorite treats in chocolate. Oreo’s, strawberries, glacé ginger— you name it, I’ve probably dipped it!
My military career took flight, literally, in 2009. I moved to Fort Rucker, Alabama, to pursue my dream of flying rotary wing aircraft. Even though I was hundreds of miles away from the chocolate shop I grew up in, I continued to make chocolate treats, desserts, and special orders when I could spare the time. Upon my return from training I took to the southwest skies to fight forest fires that ravaged New Mexico and bordering states. But the call of the world of chocolate never quieted. In fall of 2011, I signed up for classical training at a Chocolatier Workshop presented by Cargill, one of the largest chocolate companies in Northern America. I knew that opening a chocolatier and cupcake bakery in Santa Fe wouldn’t wait for years of planning. The time was now!
When chocolate lovers ask me if I try my own chocolate, my answer is usually “No, I’m sweet enough today!” The truth is that I am as guilty as anyone of indulging in delicious treats made with, dipped into, or covered with chocolate—so guilty that chocolate should have its own group on my food pyramid. I love that chocolate can express feelings, create experiences, start life journeys, and build family traditions. And I love the diversity of Santa Fe. The people of Santa Fe inspire me every day to build a business that caters to everyone’s chocolate and cupcake delight.