Specialty Food Magazine

MAR 2012

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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Page 24 of 63

20 products, the company is lauded for its single-origin dark chocolate bars, such as the 34 Percent Cocoa Butter pressed from cacao beans from Davao in the Philippines, and sells award-winning white chocolate bars, chocolate nibs, baking ingredients and bulk items. Partnering with other premium manufacturers, Askinosie Chocolate intro- duced its CollaBARation Bars, the first of which was made with 62 percent dark milk chocolate, fleur de sel, salted black licorice and anise seed, with Scandinavian distribu- tor Martin Jörgensen and his licorice fac- tory, Lakritsfabriken. A selection of gifts fill Askinosie Chocolate's online shop, such as the C-Ration Month Supply of Chocolate (a box filled with 94 miniature bars) and bev- erages like Tableya, a traditional Filipino hot chocolate made of roasted cocoa beans that are milled into tablets—a joint effort with the community where he sources beans in the Philippines. "I'm more excited about this project than anything else," Askinosie says of the collaboration. "There's a little elementary school in Davao, Philippines, where there are a number of kids who are malnourished. I asked the PTA of this school to create a product, so they came up with Tableya, a hot chocolate–type beverage. They put it on my container; I bought them for $1 each and sold them for $10 each. We bought 800." The profit will fund hot school lunches for the students for a year and a half, total- ing 185,000 meals. "There were no dona- tions; it was all self-sustaining," he says. With plans to do the same in Tanzania, Askinosie never forgets his own community. "We have a number of kids in the U.S. who are hungry, so we're doing the same exact thing a couple of miles from our factory, where the PTA of that school will make a product. This is a huge, huge part of our mission." With social causes at the heart of the company, Askinosie knows that without the chocolate, he wouldn't be able to achieve his mission. "If we didn't make great-tasting chocolate, then we couldn't do these things," he says. "And it's true for any other socially minded company. We create a great product that affords us the chance to make a big dif- ference." And despite the seemingly drastic career change, Askinosie found a way to continue helping people, just through a dif- ferent (and delicious) medium. 22 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE ❘ specialtyfood.com

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