ChocoSol is Vegan, Free of Dairy, Free of Nuts, Free of Soy, and Free of Gluten
It is with gravity that I/we must relate the following story to inform our customers and collaborators that due to the negligence and lack of consideration beyond our control we are unable to continue stating with full integrity that ChocoSol products are made in a kitchen that is free of nuts.
Despite oral and written agenda minutes documenting criteria of being nut free as criteria for the selection of new tenants in our co-designed community kitchen this was not communicated to the new tenant, and the result of this oversight was the selection of a tenant that uses nuts to bind their kale chips.
To protect the integrity of our product and with the help of the new tenant (BeNourished) and their staff, we have put protocol in place and set things in motion to change location ASAP.
a) We have put plastic walls around our production space.
b) Before nuts entered the kitchen we did a serious production run and filled the tempering room with chocolate that was made before nuts were present in the shared kitchen, and should last until mid-July or later.
c) We have begun the search for a new space. To maintain our vision this is what is demanded of us.
d) We have set additional cleaning protocol in place to control points where cross contamination could be possible:
- equipment from new tenant (BeNourished) used to process nuts is only cleaned in one dish washing sink
- all ChocoSol equipment is now washed in large bus bins which are removed from sinks after use
- before beginning cleaning any ChocoSol equipment the sinks are cleaned and sanitized
- we are no longer using the common drying area of the kitchen
- any ChocoSol products that have been packaged since the new tenants started using nuts have a marking on the label
What we have learned from this process is:
- that it is important to have detailed information in a lease before proceeding in good will
- that it is time for us to move to our own space in which we can set the tone, and maintain the integrity of our product, which is symbolic of our love of community, ecology, health, and hope.
It is our hope that by mid-August we will be operational in a new space where we can once again ensure that our product is free from nuts in the kitchen and that this new space will be one in which we will enjoy health, growth, and good will.
With regrets and with hope for understanding,
Founder of the ChocoSol Learning Community and Social Enterprise