Have you ever dreamed of opening a bakery, coffee, or chocolate shop? There are many rewards and risks involved in owning this type of small business. On one hand, it can be very gratifying to “be your own boss” while serving your local community. On the other hand, the time commitment, stress, and financial risks can be overwhelming, particularly in these challenging times.
The Fine Chocolate Industry Association (FCIA) has chosen the month of May to celebrate small businesses in our community. Although the Small Business Association (SBA) in the United States defines small businesses as those companies with 500 or fewer employees, the majority of FCIA members have 10 or fewer staff. Our members include those along every stage of the cacao supply chain from specialty retailers, chocolate markers, and chocolatiers to traders and farmer groups. All of our members are dedicated to producing and promoting the best flavor and quality chocolates in an ethically responsible manner.
This month we highlight three of our members, Goodnow Farms Chocolate, Moka Origins, and Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate. They each generate a sense of place, pride, and connection in their communities and cacao value chains. They provide opportunity and flexibility that might not be celebrated or supported in larger corporate environments for demographics including women and minorities and for people who think outside of the box. We will be posting about them throughout the month — follow Make Mine Fine on Instagram and Facebook, and FCIA on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter to learn more.
We are also hosting a chocolate giveaway featuring chocolates from each of our three featured members.
On May 27th at noon Eastern, we will conclude our month-long celebration with a new event called Chocolate Break on Instagram Live. Our friends from Dick Taylor, Moka Origins, and Goodnow Farms will talk about their businesses, community programs, and cocoa sourcing. And yes…we will be tasting some amazing chocolate!
We’ll announce the winners of the chocolate giveaway during Chocolate Break. You will not want to miss this!
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Meet this month’s featured fine chocolate companies
Goodnow Farms Chocolate
Husband and wife owners Tom and Monica Rogan first discovered craft chocolate in, of all places, a vintage furniture shop in Los Angeles. The incredible flavors they tasted in those bars completely changed how they thought about chocolate, and started them on our journey to become single origin chocolate makers.
All of their bars are made at their 225-year-old farm in Sudbury, Massachusetts. They start with cacao beans and sugar, and perform every step of the chocolate making process in-house, including carefully hand wrapping each bar.
Jeff Abella, and Ishan Tigunait, the co-founders of Moka Origins, met while working on expanding the humanitarian efforts of the Himalayan Institute in Africa.
A generous grant of land helped them invest in creating the ultimate farm-to-bean-to-bar experience. This was the genesis of our commitment to cultivate and hand-source the finest cacao and coffee in the world. They have strong ties to Cameroon where they source cocoa and support local communities and sustainable farming practices.
Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate
Adam Dick and Dustin Taylor are deeply rooted in a background of woodworking and boat building. They have always loved working with their hands. The concept of craft has been a guiding principle in their lives from the beginning. After hearing about what was going on in the young and growing American craft chocolate movement, they were drawn to the common threads they saw in working with wood and crafting chocolate from beans. They became fascinated with the new challenge and loved the idea of reinventing the chocolate experience. In 2010, they bought some small-scale equipment and began making chocolate.