As you may recall, I posted a May 1, 2021 blog post, explaining how the majority of fine chocolate companies are small business ventures. The same can be said regarding family-run chocolate businesses. As you read through the Make Mine Fine company listings, notice that many are operated by spouses, domestic partners, siblings or multi-generational family members.
Running family-owned businesses can be rewarding, but also faces many obstacles. Patricia O’Connell from This Capitalism explains that less than a third of family businesses survive the second generation. Only half of those businesses make it the third generation. The reasons for this is that vision and drive do not always translate from one generation to the next
What are the factors needed to ensure successful transitions of businesses from one generation to the next? A Motricity.com article outlines five factors needed for succeed:
- Unified Vision, Innovation, and Growth – every family member has a purpose and vision to make the business successful.
- Trust – this helps when facing financial, management or supervision challenges or decisions.
- Unity – putting the interests of the company ahead of self-interests, and having the family bonds that help in decision making.
- Ethical Standards and Values – family ethics and codes are usually strictly based on the foundation of the family and common backgrounds and upbringing.
- Not All About Money – Most family businesses work towards providing an economic opportunity to the community particularly in terms of employment.
Perhaps the only additional factor is constant, open and honest communication among family members. Can you think of any other traits that are needed? If so, please use the comment section below to share your thoughts.
This month, FCIA has chosen the theme of “Next Generation of Businesses and Cocoa Farmers”. We are pleased to be featuring three FCIA company members for our Chocolate Break/Giveaway on Thursday, September 30th at noon Eastern. This Instagram Live event is a great opportunity for you to meet FCIA representatives from Beyond Good, andSons Chocolatiers, and Conexión Chocolate to learn about their businesses and how they support next generation businesses and farmer groups. We’ll also announce the winners of our monthly chocolate giveaway during the Chocolate Break. You will not want to miss this!
In the meantime, we will be posting about these companies throughout the month — follow Make Mine Fine on Instagram and Facebook, and FCIA on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter to learn more.
Enter the Chocolate Break Giveaway
To enter the giveaway:
- Like our #ChocolateBreak post on Instagram
- Follow @makeminefine, @eatbeyondgood, @and.sons, and @conexionchocolate
- Tag 3 friends in the comments of our Instagram post who will also win a special chocolate delivery
Note that the prizes will be shipped only to US mailing addresses.
This giveaway is not associated with, sponsored by, or otherwise connected with Instagram.
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This Month’s Featured Companies
andSons is an expression of fine chocolate that spans two generations. The business was originally started by Mom, who in 1983, opened the second United States retail location of Teuscher chocolates of Switzerland in Beverly Hills, CA. An entrepreneur at heart with a European upbringing, Mom had a passion to create her own business that shared her enthusiasm for fine chocolate. With the help of Teuscher’s famous Dom Perignon Champagne Truffle, the little business was a success and introducing our community to truffles, pralines and ganaches became her career. At the time, in the mid-80s’, Europe was the sole provenance of fine chocolate so it was a real treat to discover and share chocolate in the US that was made with old-world techniques and pure ingredients.
After growing up in the chocolate shop and helping out over the years, her sons, Phil and Marc took over the business in 2013. By this time, the reach and availability of fine chocolate had changed significantly, and Europe was no longer its only capital. Fine chocolate had found a way into chocolate makers and chocolatiers around the world. This world view, combined with a lack of evolution from our Swiss partners, led us to part ways with Teuscher chocolates of Switzerland with the goal to make our own confections.
The result is andSons Chocolatiers. Formed in 2019, the idea is to provide a product and an experience that offered one foot in the past (leaning on our European heritage) and one foot firmly placed in the future (influenced by our CA roots and modern palates). To achieve our goal, we touched on all the bases. For the product, we brought on Chef Kriss Harvey, an expert chocolatier who had learned his skills in France but evolved them here in the US and was creating modern-style confections as Exec Pastry Chef at The Bazaar by Jose Andres. For the packaging design, we enlisted the help of talented artists and designers to reimagine the fine chocolate experience and create works of art in the packaging and presentation as well. Our retail store got a real Beverly Hills facelift! Going back to the studs, we created an environment and experience for the brand that was modern but still felt comfortable and lived in.
We’re currently two and a half years down the road as andSons, one year as a “new business” and one and a half years as a Covid-tested business. It’s been a bumpy ride but we’re continually inspired to reimagine fine chocolate for the next generation by experimenting with flavors, recipes and presentations that make fine chocolate feel nothing like “your Mom’s chocolate shop” (although for us, we’d take that as a compliment too).
Beyond Good, a pioneer in heirloom dark chocolate, is the only brand in the U.S. market producing bean-to-bar chocolate at source in Africa. From an organic certified chocolate factory in Madagascar, Beyond Good produces the finest heirloom chocolate and employs 42 full-time employees, while providing a stable pay price for cocoa farmers. By making finished product in Africa, Beyond Good is redefining high-quality chocolate and sustainability in the chocolate industry. It’s not just good, it’s Beyond Good. For more information, visit www.beyondgood.com and follow @eatbeyondgood on Instagram.
Recently, Beyond Good joined a new public-private partnership with USAID in Madagascar called TSIRO which will benefit over 2,000 farmers while protecting biodiversity. The TSIRO program aims to provide training for multi-generational farming families who grow cocoa and spices.
Conexión produces chocolate exclusively with “fine or flavour” Arriba Naciónal cacao beans from Ecuador. Fine or flavour cocoa accounts for only 5% of the world’s production of chocolate, but it is all we use. Arriba is prized worldwide for its complexity, intensity, and balance. There has been a concerted effort in the chocolate industry in recent years to cut corners and increase yields in cacao production using GMO cacao. Conexion is steadfast in their opposition to this movement! They will only use heirloom Arriba cacao and they work directly with Ecuador’s farmers to help restore and preserve this national (indeed terrestrial!) treasure.
Conexion chocolate begins and ends with Ecuador. They work with individual farmers in specific regions in selecting the best cacao beans in order to capture the purity, aroma, and taste of each area.