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  • October 25, 2018 1:24 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    An Evening with Emily Readett Bayley and Chantal Coady

    6th November 2018
    6.30pm till 8.00pm


    A revolutionary approach to Cocoa in Bali & Indonesia.
    For the last 30 years Emily has divided her time between the UK & Bali, in recent years becoming aware of the plight of small cocoa growers there: small fry, at the mercy of the Global commodity markets. 
    Chocolate Futures is about taking power away from big tobacco and commodity traders, creating a virtuous circular economy where value is added, the land and eco-systems are protected for future generations and small bean to bar makers can connect to the grass roots of their supply chain, using crowdfunding to build awareness and an bigger audience. The rewards will be tangible, healthy and delicious…

    Tickets can be purchased on Eventbrite 
    Members’ tickets: £10
    Non Members’ tickets: £15
    Dinner £40 per head

    Or alternatively email 
    Buy Tickets Here
  • October 24, 2018 1:25 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Union Confectionery Machinery Company is pleased to announce their appointment as the exclusive auctioneer for the assets formerly of Harper Macaw Chocolate in Washington, DC. 

    All equipment was manufactured by JAF Inox in 2015 and includes bean cleaning, winnowing, roasting, nib grinding, refining, conching, tempering, depositing and a cooling tunnel. 

    To review inventory, view photos of each machine or to register to bid please use this link: https://lnkd.in/d9hYDeT

    Bidding is open now and ends on Tuesday, November 13th with lots closing at 10:00 am EST

    Please contact me with any questions,

     Jim Greenberg | Co-President       

        family owned since 1912         

    Union Confectionery Machinery 
    600 Mamaroneck Avenue #400
    Harrison, NY 10528
    347.226.5039 office               
    203.913.9656 mobile
    718.874.0176 fax


  • October 24, 2018 11:51 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Caputo's is thrilled to announce the 7th Annual Caputo's Chocolate Festival featuring Vietnam's Marou Chocolate, happening November 8, 2018 at 7 PM, Downtown Caputo's


    Details regarding the event are listed in the attached press release

    For tickets: https://caputos.com/class/chocolate-fest-2018/ 

    All media inquiries should be directed to yelena@caputos.com.

  • October 22, 2018 6:10 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Kim Westerman interviewed Gary Guittard, CEO of Guittard Chocolate Company, on the release of the new Eureka Works bar to celebrate their 150th anniversary. Read the full article.....

  • October 15, 2018 2:38 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Guittard celebrates it's 150th anniversary. The San Francisco Chronicle featured Guittard Chocolate in it's Sunday, October 14, 2018 edition with a cover photo on the Food Section and a feature article. Read the full article here.

  • October 09, 2018 12:37 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Lake Champlain Chocolates Expands 
    Fair Trade Certified Offerings
    Best-Selling Five Star Bar line now Fair Trade Certified™




    Burlington, VT – Family-owned Vermont chocolate company, Lake Champlain Chocolates (LCC), is proud to announce that its best-selling line of Five Star Bars is now Fair Trade Certified ™.    LCC has been a pioneer in the fair trade movement, certifying its line of hot chocolates fifteen years ago. Made by hand, the Five Star Bar line consists of six irresistible flavors including the original Caramel, best-selling Hazelnut, crispy Peanut Butter, tempting Fruit & Nut, maple Granola and the new Chocolate Caramel.   

    To earn the Fair Trade certification, farms must meet and adhere to a rigorous set of social, environmental and economic standards. Once certified, farmers and workers earn a $200/MT premium on top of every sale which goes into a community-managed bank account. These funds are then used on infrastructure in areas like healthcare, education, water and food security to foster advancement in the community.

    “We continue to see the conscious consumerism trend grow as individuals seek to express their values through their purchasing decisions,” says Allyson Myers, Director of Sales and Marketing for LCC.  “Choosing Fair Trade Certified products resonates with these consumers.”

    “Certifying our products supports our vision and mission to not only be the best in the world, but for the world,” says Myers.  “By supporting cacao-growing communities, sourcing organic ingredients whenever possible, and using 100% fair trade certified chocolate.”

    For every $1 invested, $4 has been returned to farmers, workers, and fishers through Fair Trade Certified Supply chains.  “The coop CONACADO in the Dominican Republic provides LCC with the majority of our organic cacao,” says Myers. “And so it’s important to us that the people in this community have access to clean water, an updated facility for education, and the ability to grow their own food.”

    Five Star Bars, along with LCC’s entire line of extraordinary chocolates can be found nationwide at specialty and natural food stores, online at LakeChamplainChocolates.com and Amazon, and at their three company-owned stores in Vermont.

  • October 04, 2018 10:24 AM | Anonymous

    Regional Meet-Ups are one of FCIA's flagship initiatives.  These gatherings provide an opportunity for fine chocolate professionals to meet closer to home throughout the year to both network and discuss topics of interest.   Topics might include sensory evaluation, packaging, craft chocolate trends, global demands, cocoa sources, consumer perceptions of fine chocolate, sourcing, environmental responsibility and more.  To date, over 120 chocolate professionals around the US and Brazil have participated in these meetings.  

    In October, FCIA has scheduled two regional meet-ups: 

    • New England Regional Meet-Up on October 21st from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM co-hosted by Enna Grazier of Enna Chocolate and Richard Tango-Lowy of Dancing Lion Chocolate, at two locations: Manchester and Epping, New Hampshire 
    • Northwest Regional Meet-Up on Friday, October 26th from 6:00 – 7:30 PM hosted by Erin Andrews and Becca Roebber of indi chocolate, Seattle Washington

     Two additional meetings are being planned in 2019:

    • Dallas, to be hosted by 5 Mile Chocolate
    • New York, New York, to be hosted by Kah Kow

    Hosts Invited

    If you would like to host a regional meet-up, please let us know by completing the information requested in this link.  FCIA handles the registration, promotion and support. You provide the location, topic and enthusiasm.

    Guests Invited

    When you see a regional meet-up scheduled for your area—please attend!  That’s how we’ll know you want to keep regional meet-ups happening.

    Thank you, hosts of the 2017-18 regional meet-ups: 

    • Shannon Neffendorf, Jessica Beeman and the team at 5 Mile Chocolate, Dallas, Texas
    • David Upchurch & Chef Stephen Durfee at CIA Greystone, St Helena, California
    • Arcelia Gallardo of Mission Chocolate in São Paulo, Brazil (in conjunction with Brazil Chocolate and Cacao Week)
    • Erin Andrews and Becca Roebber, indi chocolate, Seattle, Washington
    • Eric Hiller and the team at Enliven Cacao, Minneapolis, MN
    • Melanie Boudar and Derek Lanter, Art of Chocolate & Cacao Santa Fe, in Albuquerque, NM (in conjunction with the Southwest Chocolate & Coffee Fest)
    • Andal and Balu, Cocoatown, Roswell, GA

    Here is what Brian Mikiten (pictured with FCIA Senior Advisor Karen Bryant) of Casa Chocolates reported:

    "My wife Joan and I own Casa Chocolates in San Antonio. We were fortunate enough to attend the FCIA Dallas Regional Meet-Up earlier this last year. This was an especially wonderful event for us as we met an amazing graphic artist who we eventually had design our new packaging and met other chocolate makers and chocolatiers from Texas who spent time with us sharing tips. The hosts at Five Mile Chocolate made everyone feel welcome and there was a real sense of community and not competition. We all care about making a fine quality chocolate and ensuring that there is balance in the supply and consumption of beans throughout the world. We truly appreciate what FCIA brings to small makers in the form of education and support! It is truly priceless." 

    Meet-Up Photo Round-Up

  • October 04, 2018 9:48 AM | Anonymous

    An Interview with Catholic Relief Services Nicaragua’s Jorge Brenes Abdalah

    1. Could you share with us a brief description of your project and its achievements to date with cocoa farmers in Nicaragua?  

    The Program for Rural Enterprise, Health and Environment – Caribbean Zone (PROGRESA Caribe) is a five-year (2014 – 2019) value chain strengthening project for the cacao and livestock sectors in the Caribbean Coast Region of Nicaragua. 

    The Food for Progress Program, financed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has a total budget of $10,254,800 and is under implementation by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in consortium with TechnoServe (TNS) and Lutheran World Relief (LWR). CRS and its partners work with small-scale cacao producers in 16 vulnerable municipalities in the Caribbean Region and other departments of the country. 

    PROGRESA Caribe is unique in its dual focus on cacao agroforestry systems and sustainable livestock development, two of the most important economic sectors in the country. This combination creates complementary short-term income generating opportunities, medium- and long-term sustainable livelihood development, and natural resource preservation. 

    PROGRESA Caribe wants to create a long-term impact by developing profitable market linkages and buyer-seller relationships, strengthening producer cooperatives and facilitating investment in value-adding infrastructure for the value chain. Up to now, PROGRESA CARIBE is attending more than 2,500 cacao farmer making investments at every stage of the supply chain: production at the farm level; quality; logistics and handling at the postharvest level in the cooperatives.

     2. You recently signed an MOU with FCIA.  What value do you see in this partnership with the fine chocolate industry?

    For CRS, FCIA represents a partnership that will help us learn and connect cacao buyers in the U.S. to producers in Nicaragua. We recognize the excellent reputation of FCIA and its membership. Also, we understand the need from your members for high quality cacao beans. On the other hand, CRS support thousands of cacao farmers and their families in Latin American who depend on their cacao plantations; we want to make sure that these farmers are able to connect with formal buyers that are interested in building long-term relationships with their suppliers. 

    Nicaragua produces a fine cacao that the world deserves to know about. Last year in London, the winner of the World Final of The International Chocolate Awards was Friis-Holm (Denmark), where the chocolate was made with 100% Nicaraguan beans.  That is why we did not hesitate traveling last June to New York to participate in your Elevate Chocolate Summer 2018 Event and show the attendees the quality of cacao that Nicaragua is producing. 

    We had more than 50 visitors at our table where we exchanged opinions and ideas and provided them samples of fermented cacao beans and chocolate bars made with Nicaraguan cacao. Understanding their criteria and preferences were very important for our learning. We brought samples of conventional, organic and UTZ certified cacao beans to the event.

    3.  Can you give an example of how companies have partnered with your program farmers?

    From the beginning of every project, CRS always try to connect the beneficiaries with private companies to which farmers and cooperatives can build their relationships and facilitate sustainability. Financial institutions and the European buyer “Ritter Sport” have already developed strong relationships with the Nicaraguan farmers. We want to do the same with ECOM, and perhaps others, in the U.S.  

    4. What final message would you like to share with companies interested to engage with your program?

    We want to bring together U.S. cacao buyers and Nicaraguan cacao farmers. For us, there is no small company. In fact, we believe that there is an opportunity for small buyers and small producers to grow together. The project has been very successful in closing the gaps between the needs of the market and the historical capacities of the farmers and their cooperatives. That is why our interest is to provide the U.S. chocolate makers the best possible cacao beans so they can make the best chocolate bar.

    If there is any company interested in meeting the farmers we would be more than happy to accompany the visitors in Nicaragua.

     Watch and Learn More  

  • October 04, 2018 9:44 AM | Anonymous

    Founded in 2003, Ecole Chocolat Professional School of Chocolate Arts offers a portfolio of programs for chocolate making in order for our students to gain a deep understanding of modern techniques, recipes, equipment, efficient production, operations, marketing, quality assurance and the business knowledge – all the skills needed to become a professional chocolatier or chocolate maker. 

    We strongly believe success in the fine chocolate industry is not just about learning how to make a bar or bonbon – that is only the starting point. Founder and Lead Instructor Pam Williams talks about the school’s recent achievements, the FCIA, and the future of fine chocolate.

    This year, Ecole Chocolat celebrated its 15th anniversary. We are very proud to be the first culinary school offering professional chocolate education that included more than simply making a recipe. In those 15 years, we have educated hundreds of students from around the globe, and while not all of them have gone on to start a business, we know that they left our programs as highly educated chocolate consumers with a thorough appreciation of the hard work that goes into each bonbon or bar. We couldn’t have accomplished this without our team of dedicated tutors working in our industry who, in many cases, are training their future competitors, but do so because they believe the industry is stronger with more well educated players.

    We agree with our fellow FCIA members that consumer education is a huge challenge for the fine chocolate industry, and we are proud to have played a role in creating a group of consumers who understand where fine chocolate comes from, as well as the talent and skills that chocolatiers and chocolate makers devote to their craft. And we will continue to be involved with the association in an integral way to help with future education/communication strategies.

    The fine chocolate industry has changed dramatically in the past 5 years, with new chocolatiers and chocolate makers entering the sector all the time. While there is room for everyone to create their own products with their own vision, even in a small community, this has created another big challenge for our segment of the industry. As more chocolate businesses enter the space, there will be increasing competition and we all know that mediocre products just won’t survive. 

    If we are asking consumers to pay more for fine chocolate, the quality of craftsmanship and flavor needs to be there.  In our book Raising the Bar, we called it the “yummy” or “wow” factor. We all need to provide our customers with the “yummy” or “wow” factor each and every time they buy our products. The “story” of who you are and how carefully and mindfully that product is made will get a consumer to buy your product once, the “yummy” or “wow” factor will keep them coming back time and time again. That will build your business and make it successful.

    As one of the original founding members of the FCIA in 2007, we came together to create an industry association knowing that we are a tiny segment of the chocolate industry. Through the efforts of our dedicated Board members and the leadership of Karen Bryant, and now Bill Guyton, the size of our membership has grown way beyond the wildest dreams of the founding 17. The FCIA has become such an important organization for creating a shared vision for our industry from tree to bar to bonbon, fostering collaborations and partnerships and inspiring the future growth of the industry. 

  • October 04, 2018 9:32 AM | Anonymous

    Beyond the Bar: New Frontiers for Chocolate
    Elevate Chocolate Winter 2019
    Registration is open for FCIA Elevate Chocolate Winter 2019

    Saturday, January 12, 2019
    9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
    InterContinental San Francisco Hotel
    888 Howard Street, San Francisco

    Our Education Committee is busy lining up all the insightful experts and value-chain partners you need to help you grow your business. This year’s theme -- Beyond the Bar: New Frontiers for Chocolate -- speaks to how the dramatic growth in our industry presents myriad challenges and opportunities.  All of our panels, workshops, and exhibitors are designed so that you can profitably navigate in this exciting era.

    Based on member and attendee feedback, we’ve developed three workshop tracks for the show: Value Chain Partnerships & Sourcing Quality Ingredients, Product Development & Innovations, and Tastes & Quality Standard.

    As usual, we invite those of you with deep knowledge and experience to respond to our RFP for topics and presenters. If you have compelling information to share, please submit a workshop proposal by October 15.

    We’re especially fortunate to welcome the show’s keynoter Chi Bui, the dynamic head chocolatier of Thomas Keller and Armando Manni’s K+M Extravirgin Chocolate. The overseer of production, bean sourcing, product development, and the company’s ongoing research with the University of Florence hails from New York City’s Romera restaurant. In that capacity she worked its highly praised chocolate program, a groundbreaking single-origin, bean-to-bar effort that was pioneering for a fine-dining restaurant. Earlier in her career, Bui worked in the pastry kitchens of the famed Le Bernardin, Union Square Cafe, Gotham Bar and Grill, and Daniel.

    We’ll kick off the day with our new Membership Assembly, where we’ll bring you up-to-date on the latest FCIA news, explain the new governance process and make sure everyone understands the new membership structure.

    That will be followed by the workshops. And, of course, we’ll continue to present the ever-popular Heirloom Cacao Preservation (HCP) update and tasting, the Gallery Showcase, new Partner Showcase, Chocolate Tasting Table, and the fabulous Not So Silent Auction.

    "A Galaxy of highly regarded craft chocolate makers, chocolatiers, pastry chefs, suppliers and related industries from around the world!"  --  Candy Industry Magazine

    In addition to attending, there are many ways to get involved and benefit from this amazing gathering of the fine chocolate professional network!

    Become an event sponsor

    Exhibit in the gallery showcase

    Participate in our new partnership showcase

    Donate an item for our Not So Silent Auction

    Play a behind-the-scenes role and volunteer

    Check out the agenda and register today!

    And keeping coming back to see speakers and workshops as they are confirmed.

    Questions or need more information? Contact Executive Director Bill Guyton.

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Executive Director / Membership Inquiries: Bill Guyton / 1.206.577.9983 / Email Bill

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