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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

Nutritional Information for Standard Line

ChocoSol’s standard line of flavours consists of:

  • Luscious Coconut (70%)
  • Coffee Crunch (65%)
  • Darkness (75%)
  • 5 Chili Bullet (75%)
  • Gratitude (100%)
  • Sinfully Raw Vanilla (82%)
  • Vanilla Sea Salt (65%)

Click on the individual flavours below for a detailed view of nutrition facts.

JOB POSTING: Market Warrior

WE ARE HIRING!

JOB POSTING: MARKET WARRIOR (PDF VERSION)

We are seeking an enthusiastic and experienced individual to join the ChocoSol team as a Market Warrior at various farmers markets and special events.

Who We Are

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.  And we work collaboratively with many food and environmental organizations to advance and support local food systems and development of products made in Ontario.

Tasks and Responsibilities:

  • Sales
    • Promote retail sales using effective sales strategies.
    • Accurate cash, credit and debit card handling (includes cashing in and out).
  • Hospitality
    • Provide hospitality to customers.
    • Communicate your knowledge to customers about ChocoSol products and production methods, the business model, upcoming events, wholesale opportunities, etc.
    • Make customers feel valued, listened to, and welcomed into our community.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • Hygiene and General Cleaning
    • Maintain personal hygiene and uphold food handling safety standards.
    • Ensure that all workspace, kitchen and market equipment are routinely washed and sanitized after each shift.

Qualifications:

  • Sales experience
  • Urban cycling skills:
    • Knowledge of (or willingness to learn how to use) pedal-assist bike systems
    • Comfort in riding with a fully loaded trailer attached behind a bike
  • Effective organization skills and attention to detail
  • Strong communication skills
  • Enthusiasm for what we do
  • Helpfulness and open heart to assist and be ready
  • Common sense to take appropriate initiatives and ask for help or enter into co-motion
  • Co-motion and contagion, that is to say the ongoing process of learning and living and flourishing
  • Conviviality fun and social composting
  • Hospitality of serving a greater purpose and hosting it in our lives and in our work
  • Additional assets:
    • G2 or G level driver’s licence
    • Familiarity with driving manual transmission car
    • City of Toronto Food Handling Certification
    • Fluency in Spanish

Work hours: Part-time seasonal (April to October) with possibility of extension.

Compensation: $13.85/hour

Anticipated start date: April 1, 2017

How to apply: 
Send cover letter & resume in PDF format to hiring@chocosoltraders.com by March 18, 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.

March Music & Open Mic Night!

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Join us on Sunday, March 5th for another evening of musical sharing and collaboration! Come and share your talents and support our creative Choco-community. Music, song, poetry, reading, and any other forms of expression are welcome and encouraged.

Tickets are $5 or PWYC, and can be purchased at: https://www.universe.com/marchmusicnight

Chocolate bites and drinks will be provided to keep the energy and creativity going all night.

Doors open and sign up begins at 7:00. Music starts at 8:00.

 

Xocolatl: Mexican drinking chocolate

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Did you know “chocolate” comes from the Nahuatl word “xocolatl”, which roughly translate as “bitter water”? In fact, across South America, cacao was traditionally consumed as a drink, not a food. Our Mexican-style drinking chocolate are based in that tradition, and make a rich, frothy, not-too-sweet cup of chocolate! Now you can try all of our flavours in our Drinking Chocolate Chest. You’ll receive 4 packages of each standard flavour (the classic Xocolatl, Vanilla Choco-Latte, Oaxacan Cinnamon, and spicy Aztec Blood) plus 1 package of specialty Tejate.

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Photo: A local woman preparing to serve tejate at the annual Tejate Festival in the village of St Andres Huayapam in Oaxaca.

Tejate blends cacao and maize with roasted mamey seeds and rosita de cacao into a thick, rich, and energizing drink. Tejate has pre-Hispanic origins, and is still used today in ritual contexts and important festivals including the Day of the Dead or Todos Santos. In Oaxaca, you’ll often see tejate being hand-mixed and served by Zapotec women in markets across the region.

Each drinking chocolate package contains 180g (8 servings). They normally retail for $10 each, but this Drinking Chocolate Chest retails for only $40 (no tax)*.

You can use our drinking chocolate for making hot or iced drinking chocolates, mochas, or try using them for Chocolate Chia Pudding! Simply blend or add 1/2 cup of chia seeds into 2 cups of drinking chocolate, and let chill overnight (or for a few hours). We like to add cacao nibs, dried fruits, seeds, and top with seasonal fresh fruit.

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Pre-payment via Interac e-transfer is required. To place an order, contact orders@chocosoltraders.com and provide your full Canadian mailing address. This is a limited time offer while supplies last.

*Additional shipping charges will apply (rates vary depending on location).

Notes from Southern Mexico

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In January, Michael Sacco (ChocoSol Founder) and Chrystal Porter (ChocoSol Head Chef) travelled to Southern Mexico as part of our commitment to horizontal trade and to our learning community. Here are some highlights from their time spent in Mexico.

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Photo above: Michael Sacco (left) and one of our cacao producers Don Flor (right) in the Lacondon Jungle

Horizontal trade means reciprocity-based relationships based on direct trade. It is about embodying best practices at home and abroad, and striving to do our best with the resources and the vision that we have, not for someone else but by example, and in partnership with them.

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Photo above: Friend & tejatera Gloria Cruz Sanchez (left) taught Chrystal (right) how to grind cacao using a traditional metate y mano. This important cooking tool is used for making chocolate and salsas, and also for grinding corn.

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Photo above: Jaguar cacao pods and Jaguar cacao beans

Phase 2 of forest garden regeneration in Oaxaca’s forest gardens will include this ancient native variety of white cacao that we re-discovered and are building a regeneration project around at this very moment. Phase 1 of regenerating the jaguar cacao was so successful as to over supply our demand and so now we must work on the polyculture diversification of the forest gardens with this amazing Chinantec community. The jaguar cacao is used to make ChocoSol’s unique & rare ‘white’ chocolate (a.k.a., Jaguar Chocolate).

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Photo above: Cooking nixtamalized corn/maize that will eventually be ground into fresh masa (corn dough) for making tortillas.

The nixtamalization process of maize is a technique of soaking and cooking corn kernels in an alkaline solution. It was designed by the ancients to make maize more nutritious and 70% more digestible. Without it, your maize masa will not be right!

Valentine’s Day Love Bars are back!

Celebrate love & friendship this Valentine season with the return of our Love Bars. There’s a little something for everyone! These beautifully branded bars are available at our retail location for a limited time only.

ChocoSol’s artisanal, ecological, and horizontally-traded chocolates make for a great gift. Our chocolate food is a delicious, healthy, and ethical alternative to industrialized chocolate candy.

Don’t live in Toronto? Can’t visit our 1131 St Clair West retail location? For this Valentine season, we are offering Canada-wide delivery on a special Valentine’s Day gift box!

Valentine’s Chest

  • Variety pack of 6 half bars (65-70g each) with special Love Bar labels (see photos below).
  • Contains 1 half bar of: Luscious Coconut, Darkness, Five Chili Bullet, Sinfully Raw Vanilla, our best-selling Vanilla Sea Salt, and the very special Mon Cherry d’Amour.
  • Share the love this Valentine’s Day with ChocoSol’s artisanal, ecological, and horizontally-traded chocolates ❤
  • Our chocolates are also free of: nuts, dairy, soy, gluten, preservatives.

Price: $30 +HST (or other applicable taxes)
(Additional shipping charges will apply (rates vary depending on location).

Pre-payment via Interac e-transfer is required. To place an order, contact orders@chocosoltraders.com and provide your full Canadian mailing address.

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