When I came to write out what I valued with this company of mine, I kept coming back to the word mindful.
Mindfulness speaks of being present and being aware, conscious, and deliberate. These traits and actions describe my modality and philosophy for everything from sourcing ingredients and packaging to experiencing my chocolate.
I want to honor the work and love that goes into growing the cacao by supporting the people behind the operation, not just the operation itself. I aim to seek out cacao growers, farmers, and co-ops that promote the livelihood of women, that have zero-tolerance for slave and child labor, and promote sustainable environmental practices. I am happy to pay above market rate prices because our indulgence shouldn't come at the detriment of another human or ecosystem.
As for for the maple sugar I use, I source from a wife and husband duo in Vermont and they are proud to tell you they are one of the Audubon Vermont’s Bird-Friendly Maple Producers, which means they keep the birds and environment in mind when they plant, prune, and tap the maple trees.
I'm keenly aware of the impact of my packaging and I purposefully choose not to house my confections in plastic. I can't bare the thought of something I put out into the world lasting long after I'm gone. My boxes are made out of 100% recycled boxboard and are recyclable, the larger boxes are also compostable. The wrappers for my mini bars are made of wood cellulose, not plastic, which makes them biodegradable as well!
We're conditioned to think of chocolate in a certain, overly sugared, one note way and I want to help educate on the power of a tasting experience, to expand our minds on what chocolate can be. I've found that learning to taste chocolate is much like learning to appreciate the art of walking (any Thoreau fans out there?) -- one must be present and not just consume absentmindedly. It's a mindset shift to notice and be attentive to your senses. To slow down and be present. There is value in curiosity and creativity in exploring tasting notes and flavor experiences and I want to encourage tasters to be open to trying new ingredients and pairings. On a personal note, I love to experience new cuisines of different cultures when I travel, and I suppose I want to try and replicate that newness and openness through chocolate.