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  • Rebecca B. and Shawn F.

Interview: The Maloney Brothers, Sol Cacao

We love being a family business. Shawn and I have been amazingly lucky to find that our strengths and preferences complement each other. These differences make our real estate business work. Shawn is great at numbers: comps, financial forms, rent rolls, and returns. I really enjoy the creativity of navigating the process, the twists and turns from first viewing to the closing table, especially with first-time home buyers. Each real estate transaction is a complex web of figures and stories, and we've found that two heads are definitely better than one when it comes to guiding clients from beginning to end. To celebrate the success of our husband and wife real estate team, and hopefully learn ways to grow, we thought we’d reach out to other family businesses to see how they do it.

First up is The Maloney Brothers, owner/operators of Sol Cacao of Harlem. We met these guys when they first started and were thrilled to have an excuse to sit down with Dominic, Dan, and Nicholas. From Trinidad and Tobago originally, these brothers grew up surrounded by cacao trees, and found that we in the states are sorely deficient in quality chocolate. Sol Cacao was born. Their chocolate uses just two ingredients: cacao beans and raw cane sugar. They strive to “craft a unique cultural experience through highlighting the innate flavors found in single origin chocolate.” And they have done it! But how are three brothers able to run a business together? Was it always going to be a family enterprise? Yes, from the very beginning. We always played, studied, and traveled together, so much so that we were called the Three Musketeers. When it came to working with chocolate, it was natural we all came to an agreement and decided to produce some of the best chocolate in the world. What's the biggest benefit of working with family? Understanding. If something comes up and we are down a musketeer, we always pick up the slack. As brothers we fight for each other. Since it’s our dream to make it a successful business it not only strengthens our bond, but it is a singular dream we can all work towards. What brought you to Harlem/New York? As children our mother would bring us to Mount Sinai Hospital after work. We would overlook Morningside Park and get a wonderful view of Harlem. We watched  the neighborhood transform, yet maintain its culture. This was the beginning of how we fell in love with Harlem, and that eventually led us to call Harlem home. Favorite meal? We're vegetarians, and there are lots of great vegetarian options uptown. Roti: curry potatoes, chickpeas, and pumpkin; the Beet Burger at the Grange (best veggie burger ever!); Taco Mix ‘s Vegetarian Tacos: avocado, black beans, queso fresco, lettuce, salsa verde/rojo. Last thing you read? Blue Future: protecting water for the people and the planet forever The Alchemist: Paulo Coelho The Fountainhead- Ayn Rand Travel destination you most want to hit? Costa Rica, Tanzania, Denmark

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