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TCHO New American Chocolate

guest blog from Casey

If you were in Port au Prince, Haiti, in the days and weeks following January’s earthquake you were almost certainly exhausted. For those whose homes and workplaces were in the areas affected by the earthquake, exhaustion was a result of the daily effort put into reestablish normalcy and coping with a dramatically changed world. For those like me who had arrived to help in the days following the quake, exhaustion came first from confronting the overwhelming needs and then from doing all you could to address them.

In the Spring of 2009 I had the good fortune of working as a student on a project for TCHO’s sourcing division. My team helped evaluate the social and environmental benefits to Peruvian farmers of partnering with and selling beans to TCHO. I’d been introduced to the company by my friend Ann Cleaveland, who over the course of the semester helped me to understand the science behind phenomenal chocolate, the nuances of chocolate flavor and the need for language to talk about it. In that semester of graduate school, with a seemingly endless workload and a seemingly endless supply of what I’ve come to believe to be the finest chocolate around, I also came to understand the benefit of a well placed taste of quality chocolate in the midst of long hours of hard work. With this in mind, I reached out to Ann when I got the call from Medicins Sans Frontieres to head to Haiti.

“Ann, I got the call… They need me to be a sort of hospitality manager for 65 exhausted nurses, doctors and surgeons from all over the world… I need chocolate.” Within 24 hours I was packed and ready to go with what must have been 5 lbs of TCHO chocolate. Over the course of the following 2 months I administered the chocolate to my team of doctors and nurses and the patients we were serving at the critical moments; the moments when they needed strength to combat the exhaustion. And strength it delivered. I was so pleased to be there contributing to the relief effort and sharing the magic of TCHO chocolate with people of all walks from all over the world.
Thank you Ann. Thank you TCHO!