Pre-season's greetings, chocolateers,
In between making pralinés and plotting our delicious future, we at Kiki's Cocoa are taking a moment to reflect on a year of cacao farming, tree adoption, intense learning, and of course chocolate making. And you, dear friends and patrons, have been a fundamental part of it. We couldn't ask for better hungry customers.
For half a year, every Saturday, our eponymous Kiki (Kirsten Ritschel) has been volunteering at Dandelion Chocolate, going hands-on on the production floor and learning even more about chocolate. Dandelion has been an amazing organization dedicated to high standards and transparency.
Our very own acre in Belize
At the end of last year, we quietly adopted a cacao tree in Hawaii - a gesture less practical and more symbolic of our commitment to sustainable, fair chocolate. This year, we stepped it up a notch or three. At the Northwest Chocolate Festival, Kiki met Maya Granit of Maya Mountain Cacao. Working together, Kiki's Cocoa sponsored an acre of cacao orchard in Belize — that's over 400 trees!
It's given us a connection to some of the most innovative cacao entrepreneurs of today, and supports training cacao farmers on Maya Mountain's agro-forestry demonstration farm. While it will take several years for these trees to begin producing, they will soon output about 400kg annually, over twice Kiki's Cocoa's projected usage for next year.
Front is a tiny coffee shop with big aspirations for both quality and presentation of food. So we're very pleased to be collaborating with them to serve some of our most popular confections. (A big shout out to our cocoa club beta tasters for their feedback!) Stop by for a sneak preview of our newest joint venture, a seasonal holiday kit.
Members of Kiki's Cocoa Club are getting some fancy wrapping with special month's collection, thanks to our collaboration with Çiğdem “Chi” Michalski of ChiChiLand. We think her lovingly crafted, delightful designs couldn't be a better match.
2014 has been full of amazing growth and exploration for Kiki's Cocoa. We're super appreciative for everyone who's supported us: the crew at Dandelion, the Front team, Chi Michalski, and Kiki's Cocoa's very own writer / lackey, Gregory Schram. But most of all we're thankful for you, our Kiki's Cocoa family. Here's to another chocolatey year together!