To raise the bar, we believe –
- Theobroma cacao (Greek, literally “god-food”), the tree from which chocolate derives, stands above the world’s great specialties – wine, caviar, tea, cigars, etc. – rather than in the candy bin (where we’ve been snickered into adulterating it). Originally an American botanical, cacáo now has global reach for being exotic, pleasurable, delicious, healthful, & nutritious. Every year research sheds more light on its physiological, medicinal, & cultural benefits. Other than the Christmas tree, no tree on Earth brings as much hope & joy to a troubled world;
- cacáo can play a role in creating a model for ethical capitalism that builds networks between the producing South & the consuming North based on mutual respect. Neither charity nor pity (the twin pillars supporting a broke system of exploitation <–> patronage <–> dependence that runs in both directions) but the fair & open exchange of goods <-> information / high compensation <-> high quality. In this vision, we promote premium pricing & direct trading, rainforest harvesting where possible, & sustainable agricultural if not, for value-add & wealth creation in emerging economies.
Together we can have our chocolate & eat it too. By demanding premium chocolate we incentivize growers to preserve rare heirloom cacáo strains. This in turn helps preserve the environment. Additionally, we bestow recognition on the peoples & places – especially Amerindian communities – responsible for an incredible invention, bringing one of the world’s great plants to fruition. It’s our small, near-native way to help reconcile & advance global relations… building those bridges one bar at a time.
The good news: once you see the light, you’ll never look at chocolate the same way again. It not only tastes good, it’s good for the planet, & good for the collective soul. And cacáo, once literally sacred & noble, then mass-produced & impoverished, regains its former glory.