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TCHO New American Chocolate

TCHO Web 1.0

Whew, it was a long time in development, but TCHO Web 1.0 is finally live and kickin!

This was a gargantuan effort that spanned many talents and many hands.  First selecting a state-of-the-art e-Commerce platform that would be completely open-source and meet our growing needs, then on to the designers to create the look and feel that reflects who we are.

Then, who to build it?  Who better than the team that produced Magento in the first place, Varien?  We worked with Varien over the course of several weeks to get the design built and the back-end all put together.

Of course, they were tapped mainly to get the store and the overall site framework built.  The rest of the content, including our killer homepage carousel, and moving the existing content from our TCHO Beta site, fell upon the inimitable Ari Salomon, several of our illustrious interns, and myself.  I would say the bulk of the heavy lifting has gone to Ari, and I can’t stress how great he is as a creative thinker, designer, and in overall website production.  Please let us know what you think!


Person, Place, or Thing—Ann Arbor!

So, on my way back from New York I stopped to visit my dad in Ann Arbor. When I’m in Ann Arbor the first thing I do is head to Zingerman’s

to stock up on some of the best cheeses

this planet has to offer and some of their delicious bread.

A little later on, like maybe the next day, I head back to Zingerman’s for the thing that put them on the culinary map: their sandwiches. My favorite happens to be the #1 Who’s Greenberg Anyway?  A corned beef and chopped liver fantasy.

People waiting in line for their sandwiches or maybe smoked white fish.

Surveying the world of olive oils with an ever helpful Zingerman’s staff member.

Zingerman’s even introduced Ann Arbor to Rhode Island’s state drink: coffee milk! They make it themselves rather than using the bottled stuff. Fantastic!



I was at my desk the other day and I heard my voice coming from across the room. It took me a second to recognize it because I don’t hear my own voice recorded often. Louis was watching a video on Wired of me in the lab talking about some of the steps of how we make chocolate.



What it means to be CEO

Don’t know where I read it, but someone in Legacy Media once asked Michael Dell and Steve Jobs their takes on what it means to be CEO. This was back when Michael Dell was king of the computer hill and his company could do no wrong, famously telling Steve Jobs, who had recently taken over the ailing Apple, that he should do his shareholders a favor and just liquidate the business.

Perhaps the reason that Apple is now worth three times Dell can be found in the answers the two CEOs gave.

Dell, who pioneered web sales and just-in-time manufacture, gave a very B-school answer: His job, he said, was to empower his managers, providing them whatever they needed so that they could do the best job they were able to.

Jobs’s answer? He said his job was to inspire his staff to achieve what they had previously thought was impossible.

Don’t know that there’s a right answer.

What I do know is what Hopper said:


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