Bean To Bar….Chocolate in Madagascar
At this Monday’s meeting, Joe Stevick will be discussing the production of high quality chocolate using heirloom cacao from the country of Madagascar.
I would really like this to be an in-person meeting where samples could be passed out. Instead, Joe will talk about how a company by the name of Beyond Good uses their local knowledge and relationship with Madagascar to shift the value chain of chocolate production to the origin of cacao. This benefits the local populations of cacao farmers and consumers alike.
Joe has lived here in Kitsap County most of his life. After graduating from Linfield College with a degree in Environmental Studies and Economics, Joe joined the Peace Corps and was stationed in Madagascar. For three years he worked as a PC Volunteer in farming, teaching, school administration and youth development work…to name a few.
But then, he got a got a “Willie Wonka” opportunity. The Brooklyn based chocolate company, Beyond Good - Chocolate & Vanilla, founded by former Peace Corps Volunteers, offered him the job of Operations Manager at their Madagascar facility.
It was there that he began to make inroads with the company, drawn to its sustainable methods using “direct trade” to produce heirloom chocolate.
The job entailed managing the factory, producing thousands of chocolate bars a day, dealing with farmers as well as hosting the groups that certify the product is hewed to socially conscious practices and ingredients.
Joe was the Operations Manager for a year...... then COVID struck. He is now back in the Pacific Northwest. Join us on Monday to hear Joe tell us about the chocolate and the people of Madagascar. www.beyondgood.com.
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