We’ve had such a productive and inspiring September & October so a bit behind in the updates! Here is a little snippet into what has been a seriously chocolate coated couple months.
CHOCOSOL – TORONTO In our last week in Canada we met a most inspiring Chocolatista in Toronto. Michael Sacco founded ChocoSol Traders and is also working on his Phd delving into Cacao as the food of the gods! His passion for chocolate was ignited while working on solar energy projects in Mexico and it is contagious. They have all sorts of wonderful things to look at from pedal powered grinders, market bike with super deluxe trailer and rooftop flower garden growing in cocoa-compost. After a generous couple hours he spent showing us around and getting our minds moving with conversations that went something like this ‘What do people do most with chocolate?’ (and my reply) ‘eat it?’ (and then) ‘Give it! Its roots are as a currency – based in generosity and community!’ I felt my own passion rekindled and my social mission supported and strengthened – from revolution (re-evolving – re-awakening!) to Don Quixote the chat was mighty. The lesson – no matter what you do, even if you think it’s a bit too ‘out there’, there is always someone that is further along that road waiting to inspire you and egg you on. See him live here speaking about this on TedX or just put ChocoSol into YouTube to find the many lovely little films they’ve made about their project. Thank you Michael!
TASTE OF WEST CORK As soon as we got back from Canada I hit the ground running, reunited with Claudia (our newest team member) and running a brilliant day of workshops in Skibereen. We had a packed out kids demo followed by a Fairtrade wine & truffle party where I had lovely chats with people from near and far about what we do, how we do it and what the motivation behind it is (in a nutshell – chocolate making – using interesting ingredients sourced ethically – in order to see the benefits we can bring to the communities that we work with and live in, here and overseas). More of that to come!
DUBLIN TEA & COFFEE FESTIVAL Next stop was the Dublin Tea & Coffee Festival, which we were delighted to be invited to to showcase our products and speak about why we use Fairtrade ingredients alongside Miguel Mateo Sebastián of the Manos Campesinas Coffee Co-op, Guatemala. I couldn’t believe the crowds, 3 days of great new connections, speaking with all kinds of different people from lovely small family business owners to chocoholics and bloggers to packaging manufacturers and of course loads of barristas. I hear it was 1500 people the first day, 2500 the 2nd and 3000 on the Sunday… amazing, so much positive energy – possibly fueled by so much coffee!
LONDON CHOCOLATE WEEK After a bit of down
time it was on another bus and off to London on a bit of a whim, for the London Chocolate week festivities. I had 3 days, and with a full line up of inspiring chocolate talks, demos and tastings by other bean-to-bar makers, bloggers and chocoholics there
was plenty to keep me busy. I was looking forward to meeting Clay Gordon of
chocolatelife.com whose website on chocolate making has been such a endless well of information for me to draw up ideas and inspiration from, so was delighted to catch him for a quick chat between talks. I also met Duffy Sheardon one of the UK’s first and bean-to-bar manufacturers among others that I was only hearing about for the first time. I came
back with an absolute haul of chocolate from all over the world and we’ve been seriously enjoying comparing all the different flavour profiles and sharing with whoever pops by at choc-o-clock 🙂
FACTORY UPDATE! Last but not least of course – our Phase 1 chocolate factory is well under way! We just finished installing a counter down one wall and the minute it was up we loaded up with our shiny new tempering machine, conche, grinder and rolled our snazzy new trolley underneath all ready for back to production tomorrow! We’ve had some great new customers come on board BlockT, a community gallery space in Dublin, our first out of the country, IndieFude in Northern Ireland, and our first in our neighbouring town Bandon, An Tobair a very lovely wholefood shop.
So all that to say though I’ve been very quiet the wheels are turning, so fast in fact I’m just doing by best to keep hold of the reins! Christmas market season is now fast approaching and of course as always I’m offering 10% off all Christmas orders placed between now and December 8th, drop me an email, give us a ring or pop into the market.
This year we’ve started making a new recipe of West Cork Whiskey Truffles and they are delicious, decadent creamy whiskey centres dipped in dark chocolate and boxed up to share… I’m only making small batches so do get your order in early if you fancy some for Christmas!
See you soon! A & the CC team 🙂