About Rob Lenfestey

Biography of Founder, CEO Rob Lenfestey: A Journey with Chocolate, Conservation, and Innovation

Rob Lenfestey’s relationship with chocolate didn’t start conventionally. Told he was allergic to chocolate in his early years, he abstained until a pivotal mountaineering expedition in the Wind River Mountains changed everything.

After a month in the wilderness, running out of food, Lenfestey stumbled upon a forgotten packet of brownie mix. This moment sparked a love affair with chocolate, leading him to explore its depths and eventually become a chocolatier.

His journey took an unexpected turn when he found himself teaching a raw chocolate-making class in Los Angeles, despite being relatively new to the craft. This serendipitous opportunity propelled him to delve deeper into the world of chocolate, honing his skills and knowledge.

Rob’s dedication to chocolate-making led him to live on cacao plantations in Costa Rica and the Hawaiian Agriculture Research Center, immersing himself in the cultivation of cacao and tropical superfoods.

Mandala Chocolate was born after a decade of studying cacao, superfoods, and herbal extraction technology. Rob’s approach goes beyond chocolate; it’s a calling to share the pure nutrition and medicine of cacao with the world.

His commitment extends to working closely with indigenous growers, ensuring sustainable practices, and protecting ecosystems. The Cloud Forest Conservation Initiative, in a campaign spearheaded by Rob, raised over $1.2 million, safeguarding a large untouched cloud forest and creating economic opportunities for the local Q’iche Maya in perpetuity.

As Campaign Director for Forest Keeper, a non-profit, Rob safeguards National Forests from industrial abuses, furthering his conservation efforts.

In 2017, he founded Mandala Springs, an Education and Retreat Center, and a Certified Organic Forest Farm. Through negotiations, Rob established legal precedent for Certified Organic management of public lands, starting with Pisgah National Forest.

Rob’s journey is marked by innovation, passion, and a commitment to sustainability. Join his email list for updates on Mandala Chocolate, and enjoy special discounts while supporting global conservation initiatives—10% of proceeds from Mandala Naturals and Mandala Chocolate contribute to these vital projects.

10% of all proceeds from Mandala Naturals and Mandala Chocolate currently go to conservation and sustainability projects around the world.