Job Posting: Tortilla Project Support Staff

ChocoSol is hiring!

JOB POSTING: Tortilla Project Support Staff (PDF version)


We are seeking 3 to 4 enthusiastic and experienced individuals to join the ChocoSol team as Tortilla Project Support Staff for intensive hours during the period of August to October. Your main job will be to make and sell tortillas in a fast-paced environment at a downtown farmer’s market.

ChocoSol is more than a business. We are a Learning Community Social Enterprise that focuses on building community, increasing food knowledge, and developing an ecological and ethical food system through delicious tortillas and chocolate. The Tortilla Project focuses on providing local, organic tortillas and is inspired by Indigenous traditions of corn preparation. We are looking for workers who are passionate about food that is as good to eat as it is for people and the planet.

Responsibilities:

  1. Cooking and serving corn-based foods (e.g. tortillas, tamales)
    • Pressing, grilling, topping, and plating tortillas
    • Topping and plating tamales
  2. Cleanliness and attention to detail
    • Keep an organized and clean work space
    • Appropriate food handling and personal hygiene
    • Attention to presentation and attractive plating
  3. Customer relations
    • Warm, helpful, and enthusiastic
    • Knowledgeable about ChocoSol and able to convey information clearly to customers
    • Cash handling
  4. Market set-up and tear-down
    • Packing equipment and supplies for market
    • Establishing attractive on-site layout
    • Cleaning and re-setting for the next day
  5. Team communication
    • Report to Lead Research Chef
    • Provide feedback about market operations
    • Work closely with co-workers to serve customers in a friendly and efficient manner

Qualifications:

  • Food handling certification required
  • Strong organization and communication
  • Able to remain calm, clean, and organized in a fast-paced environment
  • Enthusiasm for our social enterprise and a passion for ecological and just food
  • Cycling skills an asset
  • Fluency in Spanish an asset

Work days/hours: Potential for full-time hours. Work schedule will be intense due to busy market season.

Compensation: $13/hour net pay after taxes (ChocoSol covers all deductions)

Length of contract: August to October (details to be confirmed)

How to apply: Send cover letter and resume in PDF format to info@chocosoltraders.com by Friday, August 7. Thank-you for your interest, however only applicants selected for an interview will be contacted.

Job posting: Administrative & Hospitality Support Staff

ChocoSol is hiring!

JOB POSTING: Administrative and Hospitality Support Staff (PDF version)

We are seeking an enthusiastic and experienced individual to join the ChocoSol team as an Administrative and Hospitality Support Staff. This is a full-time contract position, with the intention to permanently hire upon successful completion of the contract.

ChocoSol is a Learning Community Social Enterprise that focuses on making the ‘food of the gods’ – commonly known as cacao – into fresh, whole food, stone ground chocolate on an artisanal scale.

Our artisanal chocolate is a symbol that embodies our values of socially just, ecological chocolate made, not only with a ‘cradle to cradle’ approach, but also charged with the use of bicycle-powered product deliveries and pedal-powered machines such as bicycle blenders at farmers’ markets and special events.

In addition to producing sustainable artisanal chocolate, ChocoSol also organizes and hosts chocolate and tortilla events all over the city. We offer educational workshops and catering, organize seminars and pedal-powered concerts and events, and work collaboratively with many food and environmental organizations to advance and support local food systems and development of products made in Ontario.

Responsibilities:

  1. Answer the general Information email account professionally and in an organized and timely manner
    • respond to customer questions
    • re-direct to appropriate departments
    • compile a task list of action items
    • communicate clearly and effectively with executive staff
  2. Housekeeping
    • office supplies: maintaining inventory and restocking as needed
    • organize linens for pickup and for events
  3. Receiving and filling out forms for special events
    • general information handling
    • confirm offerings/menu items
    • request and send out certificates of insurance
  4. Google Drive savvy
    • proficiency with Gmail
    • Google calendar events: entering, updating, and scheduling invitations
    • update organizational Google docs for team sharing
  5. Bookkeeping basics
    • save invoices in a file for the accountant and print 1 copy
    • fill out cheques and postdate them for bill payment, to be signed
  6. Filing and organizational skills
    • organize and label files
    • code and file things
    • search for information in a filing system and improve current filing system
  7. Cleanliness and general cleaning
    • share in cleaning duties on a monthly basis (sweep, mop, bathroom cleaning)
  8. Customer relations that are warm, helpful, and enthusiastic
    • knowledgeable about ChocoSol: products, processes, etc.
    • take the time to answer questions patiently and helpfully
  9. Task list building and prioritizing skills
  10. Sorting incoming mail

Qualifications:

  • Common sense
  • Effective organization skills
  • Strong administrative skills
  • Helpfulness
  • Strong communication skills
  • Bookkeeping
  • Enthusiasm for our social enterprise
  • Fluency in Spanish an asset
  • Food handling certification an asset
  • Cycling skills an asset

Work days/hours: Full-time: 5 days per week

Compensation: $12/hour net pay after taxes (ChocoSol covers all deductions)

Start date: September 1, 2015

End date: December 31, 2015, with intention to permanently hire upon successful completion of contract and performance review.

How to apply: Send cover letter and resume in PDF format to info@chocosoltraders.com by Friday, August 14. Thank-you for your interest, however only applicants selected for an interview will be contacted.

Article: Create Change in the Dominican Republic by Consuming Chocolate with Care

Most of our cacao beans are sourced through horizontal trade relationships with small-scale growers in Southern Mexico. Did you know that we also source from growers in the Dominican Republic who receive carbon credits for their organic cacao?

Read more about how the Dominican Republic is supporting positive environmental action in the chocolate industry: http://www.cepf.net/news/top_stories/Pages/Create-Change-in-the-Dominican-Republic-by-Consuming-Chocolate-with-Care.aspx

July 10-12: Fringe Club!

ChocoSol will be joining the Toronto Fringe Festival celebrations at Fringe Club! from July 10-12th. We’ll be serving up stone-ground dark chocolate, as well as local non-GMO corn tacos (vegan options available!).

Toronto Fringe logo

Find us there from Friday, July 10th to Sunday, July 12th

Location: Behind Honest Ed’s (Bloor & Bathurst)

http://fringetoronto.com/fringe-festival/fringe-club-fun

ChocoSoil Blog #2: Let’s Talk About Worms, Baby

Access to proper space, water, sunlight, fresh air and healthy soil can make growing food in cities very challenging. Urban farmers must therefore use innovative ways to maximize a city’s growing potential. Healthy soil plays a vital role in this issue, but is increasingly under threat from degradation, pollution and development. Container rooftop gardens have become a popular way to grow in the city, but requires the proper soil mix.

This blog focuses on the soil building practices that we use to grow some of our ingredients at ChocoSol. 2015 has been declared “Year of the Soils” by the United Nations so it’s a great opportunity to highlight how we are composting our kitchen scraps into high quality “ChocoSoil” with help from our worms!

red wigglers

Red wigglers “the engine” of our composting system

We process the food and garden scraps, paper towel, cacao shells and coffee grinds using red wiggler worms (Eisenia fetida). This “vermicomposting” process produces nutrient dense worm castings. All compost is considered humus, a crucial ingredient for any soil mix. Not only does humus help with water retention for our soil, it provides our plants with nutrients and essential soil microbes, plus protects them from pathogens and harmful bacteria.

Vermicomposting fits under the “cradle to cradle” approach of handling waste at our facility. Cradle to cradle mimics nature’s efficient and waste free cycles, whereby our organics are not wasted but are processed back into compost and returned into our garden soil. We believe that this approach is essential to tackling Toronto’s waste issues. In 2014 alone our city produced 380,552 tonnes of waste, approximately half of which is organic material. Once landfilled the organics breakdown and produce methane, a significant greenhouse gas.

composted food scraps=castings

Beautiful worm castings!

To set up a vermicomposting unit at home, remember that it is important to create a comfortable environment for your worms. Our system consists of 6 large plastic tubs with holes drilled into the sides and tops to ensure air flow. The bins are also kept in the shade to avoid overheating and drying out. According to Mary Applehof, self-described “Worm Woman” and author of Worms Eat My Garbage(1982), the ideal temperature for your bin is anywhere between 15-25°C., but they can survive in temperatures as low as 0°C and as high as 30°C. Make room inside and outside to enjoy composting year round!

IMG_20150626_133638

moist paper towel layer on top of bin

Moist paper towel layer on top of bin

Your bins must also have a balanced carbon and nitrogen ratio. Our carbon sources are paper towels, coffee cups and corn stalks, which also acts as an essential bedding layer to block light and fruit flies. Our nitrogen sources are the kitchen scraps and coffee grinds.

Ensure the worms stay happy by checking the temperature, moisture, acidity (pH levels), amount of food and airflow within your bin on a weekly basis.  Managing our project takes a small dedicated team (hi!), but most single-family vermicomposting systems take little maintenance since food can be added on a semi-regular basis.

Worm bins are just one of MANY great composting options – it works best for us because it’s relatively quick and doesn’t take up a lot of space. We process approximately 15 pounds of organic waste each week and since April we have harvested over 130 pounds of castings!

Please tweet us your pics and stories of your own composting adventures (@chocosoltraders) with the hashtag #worms4all.  If you have any questions about starting your own worm composting unit please email us! We can direct you to some great resources or give you some pointers from our own experiences.