Paul Mosca, founder and owner, Nahualli Trading Co., Raleigh, N.C.

Nahualli Trading Co. founder, owner, bottle washer and head chef Paul Mosca learned about start-up businesses from his father and friends who had created successful companies of their own. Seeing how a company can be a creative outlet, Mosca set sights on establishing his own business endeavor. After many years, even more questions and ever-deepening curiosity, Mosca launched his chocolate company, Chocolate Seeds.

He explains that the concept for covering cacao seeds with dark chocolate was inspired with the help of friends Larry Larson of Larry’s Beans and Ty Beddingfield of Gamila Design.

“Several years ago Larry brought cacao beans back from a trip to Ecuador,” Mosca says. “Ty and I began experimenting with how to cover them with chocolate. The trouble was in the thin shell around the bean,” he adds. “Figuring out how to remove the shell took several years, but with perseverance Chocolate Seeds was born.”

A three-step process takes place to produce the decadent and rich taste. First, whole beans are shelled. Next, the shelled beans are roasted to develop a full, intense flavor. Finally, the roasted beans are seasoned with dark chocolate.

Mosca’s company is headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., and operates out of a 900-sq.-ft. certified organic facility. For centuries, chocolate confectioners have teased fine flavors from the seeds of the cacao tree, but Mosca believes he has created the perfect blending of flavors.

“Enjoying Chocolate Seeds is micro chocolate tasting,” he explains. “Each bean has its own character, and the chocolate cuts the bitterness and brightens the natural flavors of the cocoa bean.”

What did you think you would be when you grew up? 
A fiction writer.

Name one or some of your favorite movies.

Describe your perfect dream vacation. 
Snorkeling in the Caribbean or skiing in Taos, N.M.

What book are you currently reading? 
“Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell.

Aside from a family member, whom would you most want to be stranded with on a deserted island?
Wonder Woman.

What’s your pet peeve? 
Bad drivers.

I’d give anything to meet: 
The “Mythbusters,” including Scottie.

The best piece of advice that I’ve gotten: 
Don’t forget to breathe.

What excites you most about your job? 
It is the perfect vehicle for curiosity and a way to create beauty.