Blog

Tapete Auction & Fundraiser

Have you seen the beautiful tapetes hanging in our space at 1131 St. Clair West? We are auctioning off several unique pieces as a fundraiser for a beloved member of the ChocoSol family in Oaxaca, Mexico: Angela Mendoza Martinez. If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind holiday gift for yourself or your loved ones, and a gift embedded with meaning, solidarity, and the generosity of holiday spirit, check out the auction site by clicking here!

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The Mendoza family are recognised master weavers who use traditional methods to make their unique artworks. They are close friends of ChocoSol and dear members of our direct-trading network in Mexico. Michael Sacco, the founder of ChocoSol, became close friends with Luis Mendoza while living in Oaxaca. Luis’ mother, Angela Mendoza Martinez, has been spinning and dying wool all her life- and creates rugs (tapetes), bracelets, shawls, and more. ChocoSol is lucky to have a number of commissioned pieces woven by both Angela and Luis in our space in Toronto.
Unfortunately, this past May, Angela Mendoza experienced kidney failure. She was forced to travel via private taxi to Oaxaca City three times a week in order to receive treatment. Since then, she has been on dialysis treatment. Due to the high cost of getting a doctor from the city, the family has renovated a room in their house to create a sterile home environment for Angela to receive home-treatment.
Before falling ill, Angela was a vendor at the local Organic Pochote Market in Oaxaca City, Mexico. She has been unable to sell her wares at the market, and has been unable to weave any new pieces since her operation. Her two children have also both been away from work since May in order to support and care for Angela. In June, ChocoSol helped to fund a fundraiser event was organised by Chris Christou, a member of ChocoSol based in Oaxaca, and held at the Pochote Market. Community members, vendors, and customers alike came together to raise money for the family.
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However, the Mendoza family is still in need of financial support. In solidarity with the family, we are auctioning five tapetes hand-woven by Angela for ChocoSol. The wool is hand-made and dyed by the family, using all natural dyes made using traditional methods. These pieces are valued each between $400 to $600 (depending on the size and design), and are priceless in their originality and meaning.
Below, please enter your bid for any or all of the tapetes. The auction will close on Friday, December 22nd at noon. Please remember to check back regularly to see if you have been outbid! You can enter the auction as many times as you wish. Participants will also be emailed a few days before the closing date with the new bid minimums. The winner for each item will be announced at our Winter Solstice event on Friday, December 22nd (and will be notified by email). The tapetes will be available for pick-up at 1131 St. Clair West. Delivery options within Canada can also be discussed.

Enter the auction here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SJJMPYS

Tree-to-Bar-to-Bean

Maple Tree Forests Branching out with a Cacao Forest Garden

Article by Christine Laliberté, 19 October 2017

Christine1ChocoSol Traders is a tree-to-bar chocolate maker social enterprise based in Toronto (https://chocosoltraders.com/). ChocoSol buys fermented cacao beans directly from cacao producers in Mexico, Ecuador, and the Dominican Republic (DR). At the shop, the ChocoSolista team crafts different lines of chocolate bars using stone ground, whole food artisanal methods. One of the “Fino Line” flavours featured is called Bird Sanctuary. This appellation salutes the Hispaniola region of northen Dominican Republic which is where the Zorzal – Agroforestry System is located, a first of it’s kind for this country (http://zorzalcacao.com/). This region is the the winter habitat of the Bicknell Thrush. 

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Look up in the Spring and depending upon what part of north eastern North America you are in you may observe a flock of Bicknell Thrushes moving along the Atlantic ocean during their migration. In the summer this small bird migrates to the vast Laurentia forest within southeastern Quebec and Vermont.(http://www.audubon.org/). Like the Bicknell Thrush, I was also born in a maple forest region.  I feel that we are sharing a similar ritual; we are both “secretive forest singer[s].”

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Made with 85% cacao from the Zorzal Reserve, this is my favorite mini bar made at ChocoSol. Bird Sanctuary reveals a distinct level of chocolate, expresses a balance of acidity and suggests a subtle nutty & fruity flavor. The added sea salt represents the Atlantic Ocean, the area covered by these birds during their seasonal migration.  Also, the maple sugar crumble used to sweeten the bar on the back is a call out to the forest gardens of the North that provide food and habitat for these endangered birds. 

Let me invite you to read the story of how I met a network and chain of artisans, technicians, ecologists and farmers who have devoted their lives to create a sustainable cacao product chain. Specifically, my article will focus on these four contributors:

MICHAEL SACCO – ChocoSol Founder, Toronto, CA
Dr. CHARLES KERCHNER- Zorzal Reserve Co-Founder & Artisanal Cacao Farm Operations Chief, DR GREG D’ALESANDRE – Chocolate Sourcer & Co-Owner at Dandelion Chocolate, CA, USA
CYNTHIA JONASSON – Chocolatier & Master Chocolate Maker Teacher at Dandelion Chocolate, CA, USA

Christine5While interning at ChocoSol Traders a member of the ChocoSolista Team, Rebecca Jacobs, once told me an idyllic story about the existence of a bird sanctuary. She described that there are two countries involved in this migratory route with an ocean separating its distinct winter and summer habitats. The story which inspired the name for “Bird Sanctuary” chocolate bar has the charm of a fairy tale but the narrative has peaked my curiosity about ethical chocolate sourcing.  Moreover, I was interested in getting a better understanding of ChocoSol’s horizontal trading business relationships with their producers.  Horizontal trade is an invitation ”to participate in an intercultural dialogue and movement to create a socially-just, equitable, & ecological food system” (https://chocosoltraders.com/).  As a result of the generous help of Michael Sacco (TEDxWaterloo – Michael Sacco – 2/25/10) I was able to connect with Dr. Charles Kerchner (http://zorzalcacao.com/), a ZorzalCacao producer and was able to visit a small forest garden cacao reserve in the DR. The purpose of my trip was to also explore my enthusiasm for sustainable agro-ecology and to see with my own eyes how cacao is grown and how such an innovative agroforestry project could benefit the community and help preserve the ecosystem. ChocoSol was the first international buyer to purchase the carbon credit Zorzal beans in 2014, (http://www.cepf.net/news/top_stories/).

This agroforestory project is sucessful because of Dr. Charles Kerchner’s leadership. The Chief Troublemaker (as he’s described on the Zorzal website!) has demonstrated his environmental stewardship of the Reserva Zorzal for more than a decade with collaborative conservation efforts from different political levels and private sector. Additionally, Charles is kind-hearted and generous towards his dedicated staff, hardworking-farmers & their families. Besides being a good business man, Charles is an excellent host from which he has kindly invited me to join the Dandelion Chocolate Group (https://www.dandelionchocolate.com/), who happened to be in the country for one of their chocolate trips.  My impromptu addition to these travellers gave me an invaluable opportunity to meet one the best single source bean-to-bar chocolate makers in the world.

I also had the privilege to participate in a hands-on workshop focussing on cacao bean and chocolate tasting with the amazing Dandelion Chocolate team. The session was taught by Greg D’Alesandre (What A Chocolate ‘Sourcerer’ Learned From Working At Google by Forbes ) where he introduced the importance of having a good qualitative method to “consistently and accurately communicate about flavor” (Getting-good-grades-for-cacao, July 14, 2017 by Greg). Greg presented a standard protocol that was created by the Fine Cacao and Chocolate Institute (FCCI). The workshop was very educative and Greg’s expertise and insights of global cacao cultivation and industries are tremendous. Greg answered questions about fruit harvesting, evaluation of fermentation installations and discussing chocolate marketing with contagious enthusiasm. He belives that trust is a “crucial component” for an equitable economic system where the essential aspect of fair and ecological trade is based on sustainable relationships (Greg D’Alesandre from Dandelion Chocolate speaking at the Collaborative Trade Accelerator Culmination Event https://vimeo.com/173170530); this is a shared-value that is championed by Micheal Sacco and his ChocoSolistas in Toronto.

Cynthia Jonasson is a Canadian Master Chocolatier and a teacher at Dandelion Chocolate. She still thrives on learning about chocolate including the history of cacao and its application across civilizations, investigating the several origins of Theobroma pods, evaluating the different fermentation processes and assessing diverse types of installation and  testing recipes in her shop. Moreover, she is an excellent educator. She has been a resourceful person for all of the technical aspects regarding chocolate making . I am very grateful to Cynthia to share all her “tips & tricks”. I invited you to read her articles posted on the “Education Station” from the Dandelion Chocolate website (Dandelion Education Station with Cynthia).

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Christine7Based on my observations during my stay in the jungle,  the members of the Zorzal team have adopted sustainable practices involved in cacao cultivation (e.g., agricultural practices work with natural processess to preserve the resources; design and manage organic farming operations ). Furthermore, I feel that the jungle garden sustains the economic viability and enhances the quality of life for DR farmers.Cacao Zorzal, Dandelion Chocolate, and ChocoSol are partners that are successful social enterprises. They are playing a role in addressing climate change, in supporting local communities, and in protecting endangered wildlife with collaborative conservation efforts. Moreover, as reported, “the chocolate makers who buy Zorzal cacao are willing to pay an additional value for each pound of cacao to invest in Plan Vivo reforestation efforts.” In summary, Zorzal philosophy is that: 

We believe that good business practices can help foster positive social, environmental, and economic change, and we are committed to increasing transparency in both our own process as well as across the supply chain.  

My trip reiterates my belief of supporting the fair trade market when you are sourcing and producing a commodity. I have a better understanding of the full implications involved when paying a premium for “Fair Trade” produce.  Although it can have a higher cost to support the sustainability, as a cutomer I am ready to take a few extra dollars from my thin wallet to cover these operations related to this artisanal method. The chocolate industry requires a colossal demand for physical labor throughout the entire process of seeding, harvesting and crafting chocolate. For the respect of the Theobroma cacao plant and it’s workers, biting into a piece of chocolate has forever changed outlook on the chocolate industry. Next time you eat a delicious bitter square of dark chocolate, perhaps you could try savouring it a little longer… being mindful of experiencing the “Food of the Gods” and its sweet contributions from numerous human beings.

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We’re hiring for a Chocolate Production Assistant!

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We are seeking an enthusiastic and experienced individual to join ChocoSol team as a Chocolate Production Assistant to support our growing and dynamic team in producing delicious, nutritious, ecological, and ethical bean-to-bar chocolate. This is a part-time position — approximately 3 days per week (24 hours per week) — with the possibility for more hours and a permanent full-time position for the right candidate. ChocoSol is an organization passionate about developing long-term relationships with our own staff, local community partners, and our international horizontal trading network.

ChocoSol is a Learning Community Social Enterprise that makes the ‘food of the gods’ – commonly known as cacao – into fresh, whole food, stone ground chocolate. ChocoSol’s cacao is sourced directly from farmers in Mexico, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and Guatemala, and then processed bean-to-bar at our St Clair Avenue West facility. We run many in-house events, workshops, and tours, as well as participating in a few dozen external community events every year.

Responsibilities:

    1. Chocolate making support
      • Ingredient preparation
      • Tempering
      • Moulding/unmoulding
      • Quality control
      • Packaging and wrapping
    2. Chocolate knowledge
      • Knowledgeable about our entire chocolate line inside and out, from our standard Rustico flavours to our seasonal/specialty offerings.
    3. Product/Inventory logging
      • Follow logging procedures thoroughly and accurately
    4. General cleaning
      • Proper cleaning of moulds
      • Thorough cleaning of tools and equipment
      • Start and end of day rituals (e.g., putting away clean dishes, sweep, mop)

Qualifications:

    1. Kitchen skills
      • Professional commercial kitchen experience required. Chocolate making experience preferred, but not necessary.
      • Proficiency in proper technique.
      • Follow recipes accurately and completely.
    2. Speed
      • Be quick on your feet.
      • Highly motivated and work with a strong sense of purpose.
    3. Consistency
      • Passion to make the perfect product and get it right every single time.
    4. Punctuality and preparedness
      • Always arrive on time and ready to work.
    5. Attitude
      • Positive and professional attitude toward everyone.
      • Team mentality: always willing to lend a helping hand.
    6. Food Safety
      • Follow food safety standards vigilantly.
      • Food Handler’s certification is current.

Additional qualifications:

    • Effective organization skills
    • Strong communication skills
    • Ability to stand for prolonged periods of time
    • Can lift up to 50lbs
    • Flexibility to work weekends
    • Enthusiasm for our social enterprise

Work hours: Approximately 3 days per week (24 hour work week), with the possibility for more hours and a permanent full-time position for the right candidate

Compensation: $15/hour

Start date: ASAP

How to apply: Send cover letter and resume in PDF format to hiring@chocosoltraders.com by Friday, October 20, 2017. Thank-you for your interest, however only applicants selected for an interview will be contacted. We receive many applications and cannot respond to all in-person, telephone, and e-mail follow-ups.

Chocosol Traders is an equal opportunity employer and considers qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, disability, or any other protected factor. Chocosol is committed to working with and providing accommodation to individuals with disabilities. If you need special assistance or an accommodation while seeking employment, please e-mail Byron@chocosoltraders.com. We will make a determination on your request for accommodation on a case-by-case basis.

NOW HIRING: Front of House Sales Animator

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We are seeking an enthusiastic and experienced individual to join the ChocoSol team as Front of House Sales Animator for our retail storefront. This is a part-time contract position until the end of December 31, 2017 with the potential for developing into a longer-term position for the right candidate.

ChocoSol is a Learning Community Social Enterprise that makes the ‘food of the gods’ – commonly known as cacao – into fresh, whole food, stone ground chocolate. ChocoSol’s cacao is sourced directly from farmers in Mexico, Dominican Republic, and Ecuador, and then processed bean-to-bar at our St Clair Avenue West facility. We run many in-house events, workshops, and tours, as well as participating in a few dozen external community events every year.

The right candidate is an individual who is passionate about ecology, sustainability, and supporting local food systems. The physical space of the storefront is a crucial connection point between the various areas of ChocoSol (production, wholesale, retail, markets, maintenance, etc) so the individual must be able to work effectively in a team environment that requires communication with and support of each other. The right candidate loves engaging with people and takes pride in maintaining a clean, organized, and welcoming space for everyone that comes through the area.

Responsibilities:

    1. Sales
      • Promote retail sales using effective sales strategies.
      • Communicate your knowledge to customers about ChocoSol products, the business model, farmers markets, wholesale opportunities, etc.
      • Accurate cash handling, including cashing in and out.
      • Use of POS system to log all sales.
      • Use of Moneris system to process credit/debit card transactions.
      • Support wholesale team by completing orders and gathering contacts from potential wholesale clients.
      • Support ChocoSol’s growth by actively engaging in the opportunity to develop and improve our storefront space.
    2. Hospitality
      • Provide hospitality to guests & customers entering the space and to people contacting ChocoSol by phone.
      • Make customers feel valued, listened to, and welcomed to our community.
    3. Barista
      • Brew and serve coffee to promote ChocoSol’s low-emission coffee beans.
      • Make extraordinary xocolatl (Mexican chocolate drinks) and Mayan mochas (chocolate & coffee blend).
    4. Wrapping chocolate
      • Support production by wrapping, stickering, and boxing chocolate bars.
      • Wrap all chocolate according to protocol to ensure that packaging is clean, standardized, and aesthetically pleasing.
    5. Cleanliness and general cleaning
      • Ensure that the storefront space & equipment is routinely cleaned, organized, and sanitized.
      • Share in cleaning duties (sweep, mop, bathroom cleaning).
      • Maintain personal hygiene to a standard that is suitable for the food service/hospitality industry.
    6. Administrative/Organizational Duties
      • Regularly check work e-mails. Respond & follow-up in a timely manner.
      • Actively engage with Google Drive (Google Sheets, Google Docs, etc.) to effectively communicate with Lead Animators regarding scheduling, sick/vacation time, submitting hours worked, etc.

Qualifications:

      • At least 2 years of sales experience
      • Effective organization skills and attention to detail
      • Strong communication skills
      • Must have an inherent desire to constantly improve systems
      • Ability to prioritize tasks in a busy retail environment to get the job done
      • A passion for ecology, sustainability, and supporting local food systems
      • Fluency in Spanish an asset
      • Food Handling certificate an asset

Work days/hours: Approximately 2-3 days per week. This may include weekends and occasional evenings when ChocoSol hosts special events.

Compensation: $15/hour

End date: December 31, 2017 with the potential for developing into a longer-term position for the right candidate.

How to apply: Send cover letter and resume in PDF format to hiring@chocosoltraders.com by September 10, 2017. Thank-you for your interest, however only applicants selected for an interview will be contacted. We receive many applications and cannot respond to all in-person, telephone, and e-mail follow-ups.

Chocosol Traders is an equal opportunity employer and considers qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, disability, or any other protected factor. Chocosol is committed to working with and providing accommodation to individuals with disabilities. If you need special assistance or an accommodation while seeking employment, please e-mail Byron@chocosoltraders.com. We will make a determination on your request for accommodation on a case-by-case basis.

Job Posting: Finance and Administration Assistant

We are seeking an enthusiastic and experienced individual to join the ChocoSol team as a Finance and Administration Assistant. This is a part-time 3 month contract position with the potential for developing into a longer-term position for the right candidate.

ChocoSol is a Learning Community Social Enterprise that makes the ‘food of the gods’ – commonly known as cacao – into fresh, whole food, stone ground chocolate. ChocoSol’s cacao is sourced directly from farmers in Mexico, Dominican Republic, and Ecuador, and then processed bean-to-bar at our St Clair Avenue West facility. We run many in-house events, workshops, and tours, as well as participating in a few dozen external community events every year.

Because this position supports Accounts Payable, a comfort with numbers, data entry, and spreadsheets is necessary. The successful candidate will have experience with accounting practices and QuickBooks Enterprise.

This is an ideal position for an ecologically-minded business/finance/accounting student looking to apply their academic studies in a growing, dynamic, and sustainability focused social enterprise.

Responsibilities:

  • Performing data entry related to Accounts Payable
  • Separating HST from Accounts Payable
  • Inputting invoices into QuickBooks Enterprise
  • Streamlining the bookkeeping reconciliation process (e.g., preparing books on a weekly basis to ensure smooth monthly reconciliation)

Qualifications:

  • Studied/currently studying business, finance, and/or accounting
  • Experience with QuickBooks Enterprise
  • Working knowledge of accounting practices
  • Experience with designing Microsoft Excel/Google Sheets spreadsheets
  • A genuine interest in financial accounts with respect to how they relate to B Corp certification, Feast On certification, Slow Food values, and Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) credits
  • A passion for ecology, sustainability, and supporting local food systems
  • Fluency in Spanish an asset

3 month contract will be: 2 – 3 half days per week (8 – 12 hours per week) for $15/hour. There is potential for this position to develop into a longer-term role for the right candidate.

Anticipated Start date: September 2017 (start date flexible)

How to apply: Send cover letter and resume in PDF format to hiring@chocosoltraders.com by Friday, August 22, 2017. Thank-you for your interest, however only applicants selected for an interview will be contacted. We receive many applications and cannot respond to all in-person, telephone, and e-mail follow-ups.

Chocosol Traders is an equal opportunity employer and considers qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, disability, or any other protected factor. Chocosol is committed to working with and providing accommodation to individuals with disabilities. If you need special assistance or an accommodation while seeking employment, please e-mail Byron@chocosoltraders.com. We will make a determination on your request for accommodation on a case-by-case basis.

We’re hiring for an Administration and Hospitality Animator

We are seeking an enthusiastic and experienced individual to join the ChocoSol team as an Administration and Hospitality Animator. This is a full-time 1 year contract position with additional benefits offered at 6 months upon a successful performance review. We are looking for someone with a long-term commitment to the business beyond the contract period if the fit is right. ChocoSol is an organization passionate about developing long-term relationships with our own staff, local community partners, and our international horizontal trading network.

ChocoSol is a Learning Community Social Enterprise that makes the ‘food of the gods’ – commonly known as cacao – into fresh, whole food, stone ground chocolate. ChocoSol’s cacao is sourced directly from farmers in Mexico, Dominican Republic, and Ecuador, and then processed bean-to-bar at our St Clair Avenue West facility. We run many in-house events, workshops, and tours, as well as participating in a few dozen external community events every year.

We are looking for someone organized, dependable, and creative to support us in the strengthening and streamlining of our office rituals. This position acts as a communication hub for the office within the organization. We want a qualified candidate interested in joining our community as well as the business.

Daily duties will include, but not be limited to: managing the general email account, event planning and scheduling, supporting the development and maintenance of accurate payroll and employee files, managing office supplies, assisting in applying for grants and certifications, and managing Accounts Payable. Must be able to work independently, and have an inherent desire to constantly improve systems. Must be able to work effectively in a busy shared office and prioritize many tasks and deadlines.

Because this position handles Accounts Payable (with the support of a monthly consultant accountant), a comfort with numbers and spreadsheets is necessary. Ideally the candidate will have previous budgeting and accounting experience with Quickbooks Enterprise.

For the right candidate this is an opportunity to be brought into the Executive Team of a growing, dynamic, sustainability focused enterprise.

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
    • enter information accurately into Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google Sheets
  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
    • pay vendors
    • log payments correctly in Quickbooks
    • maintaining organized files for monthly reconciliation with the accountant
  6. Filing and organizational skills
    • organize and label files
    • search for information in a filing system and improve current filing system
    • maintain legal documents and be aware of legal retention periods
  7. Cleanliness and general cleaning
    • share in facility 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. Sorting incoming mail

Qualifications:

  • 2 years experience with office administration
  • Proficiency in Word, Google sheets, data entry
  • Effective organization skills
  • Strong communication skills
  • Bookkeeping
  • Enthusiasm for our social enterprise
  • Flexibility to work occasional evenings and weekends since we run many events during those hours
  • Fluency in Spanish an asset
  • Food handling certification an asset
  • Cycling skills an asset

1 year contract will be: 5 days per week (37.5 hour work week)

Compensation: Monthly salary of $2672.24

Start date: ASAP

How to apply: Send cover letter and resume in PDF format to hiring@chocosoltraders.com by Friday, September 9, 2017. Thank-you for your interest, however only applicants selected for an interview will be contacted. We receive many applications and cannot respond to all in-person, telephone, and e-mail follow-ups.

Chocosol Traders is an equal opportunity employer and considers qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, disability, or any other protected factor. Chocosol is committed to working with and providing accommodation to individuals with disabilities. If you need special assistance or an accommodation while seeking employment, please e-mail Byron@chocosoltraders.com. We will make a determination on your request for accommodation on a case-by-case basis.

Summer Solstice

Join us for a celebration of summer, seasonality, and spirit. To welcome the solstice, we are opening our doors, turning up the grills, and taking over the street to serve our stone-ground fresh masa foods- tortilla pizzas, quesadillas, and more- plus chocolate bites, peddle-powered drinks, and cookies.

Where: 1131 St. Clair West
When: Friday, 23 June 2017 from 7pm – 11:30pm

This event is a potlatch of spirit, music, community. Feel free to bring food*, drink, music, storytelling, and more to share.

Our celebrations is pay-what-you-can (with a suggested donation of $20) and includes all the chocolate, drinks, and food you can enjoy for the evening. Plus we are offering 10% off any purchases of retail chocolate, coffee, and masa foods all day.

*All of our food will be vegan (or vegetarian option), and free of nuts, gluten, soy, and preservatives. Please ensure all food brought to share is vegetarian and free of nuts. Ingredient lists are appreciated to keep our space and community safe!

We are hiring!

 

Chocolate Production Assistant – Summer 2017

Who we are

ChocoSol Traders is a social enterprise learning community that transforms the “food of the gods” – cacao- into stone ground, artisanal dark chocolate. We use bean-to-bar techniques to produce artisanal, small batch chocolate that retains the health and nutritional values of cacao. We work with and source directly from Indigenous communities in Mexico with a spirit of reciprocity and friendship.

 Why work with ChocoSol?

 Being an apprentice at ChocoSol will give you an opportunity to work hands-on and learn from our passionate staff about producing sustainable socially just foods. We are learning community that uses cacao as a vehicle for sustainability, direct trade, food literacy and mentorship. As such, you will gain chocolate making and food handling experience while simultaneously engaging with our research and values.

Duties + Responsibilities

The primary duties of this position will be assisting our Executive Chef in our weekly production. Duties include but are not limited to:

  • Ingredient prep, moulding, and wrapping chocolate
  • Ensuring our hygiene and cleanliness standards are upheld
  • Inventory tracking
  • Assistance with roasting and winnowing
  • Assisting with in-house workshops and food education
  • Secondary assistance to the Lead ChocoSoil Animator with upkeep and maintenance of our rooftop container garden

Qualifications

  • Must be between the ages of 18-30
  • Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • Was registered as a Full-time student in Winter 2017 semester
  • Intention of returning to a post-secondary institution in Fall 2017
  • Kitchen experience and a Certificate in Food Handling is an asset but not mandatory
  • Common sense, personal hygiene, and kitchen safety is a must
  • Strong communication and organizational skills
  • Enthusiasm for social entrepreneurial and passion for socially just, ecological food
  • Spirit of convivial fun, helpfulness, open heart and mind in a busy work environment

Compensation and Duration

$12.50/ hour, 30 hours a week for 16 weeks beginning on a mutually agreed upon date in early June. Ten volunteer training hours must be completed prior to the beginning of the work placement.

How to Apply

Send your cover letter and resume to hiring@chocosoltraders.com by May 17th. Thank you for your interest, however only applicants selected for an interview will be contacted.

Chocosol is an equal opportunity employer and considers qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, disability, or any other protected factor. Chocosol is committed to working with and providing accommodation to individuals with disabilities. If you need special assistance or an accommodation while seeking employment, please e-mail byron@chocosoltradrs.com.  We will make a determination on your request for accommodation on a case-by-case basis.

Amaranth in the news

Check out the newest feature on our amaranth growers in Oaxaca, Mexico. NPR published an incredible article on one of our partners: Puente a la Salud Comunitaria. Puente is a nonprofit committed to seeking a solution to the high rate of prenatal and childhood malnutrition in rural Oaxaca through the promotion of amaranth production and cuisine. We are proud to be Puente’s first partner outside of Mexico. Amaranth is an native seed and food, nutritionally-dense in protein and other nutrients, part of the Oaxacan forest garden and drought-resistant, and financially profitable for growers and their communities.

We feature amaranth in our Cacao Power Cookies and in the masa (dough) for our tamales. We are also working on a complete-protein tortilla made with amaranth, chia seeds and maize.

If you’re interested in purchasing amaranth flour and/or seed, or pre-purchasing popped amaranth- contact us at orders@chocosoltraders.com. Each bag is labelled with the name of the community in which the amaranth was grown.

Full article available here: http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2017/05/01/526033083/why-mexican-chefs-farmers-and-activists-are-reviving-the-ancient-grain-amaranth

Moving Beyond Fairtrade

Check out the smiling faces of our founder Michael Sacco and one of our oldest partners in Mexico, Don Flor, gracing the pages of the National Post!

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This article outlines the limitations and potential for certifications such as Fairtrade, and what direct-trade can mean for cacao producers and chocolate makers alike. At ChocoSol, we’re proud to work directly with growers in Mexico, Dominican Republic, and Ecuador. It’s great to see other chocolate makers like Taza Chocolate and LetterPress Chocolate engaging with direct-trade, and we hope more organisations can do the same!

Read the full article here: http://business.financialpost.com/news/agriculture/beyond-fair-trade-these-bean-to-bar-chocolate-makers-are-upping-the-ante-on-working-with-cocoa-farmers