MIL, MS HUMAN RIGHTS
WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
HOW AND WHY DID YOU BECOME… (WHAT YOU ARE NOW)? I am a passionate believer in the power of inclusion, listening and learning from one another. Many (too many!) years ago, fresh out of high school, I had a belief that businesses could be a powerful engine for making progress on human rights globally. I set out to find ways to connect businesses to communities — and to help them do the right thing. This begins in dialogue. I’ve been working in some version of this story since then...
YOUR DEFINITION OF A GOURMET? Someone who loves experiencing new flavors — preferably right where they come from!
OUR FIRST MEMORIES WITH CHOCOLATE? My grandmother was given a gift of a giant chocolate bar filled with roasted almonds. She tried to hide it from us… but no luck! My brother and I ate pretty much all of it in a few days!
SPEAKING OF CHOCOLATE, WHAT DO YOU LIKE, WHAT DO YOU EAT FIRST, WHAT DO YOU NEVER EAT? I love almonds (see, some things don’t change)… This is what I eat first. I’m pretty simply… hence why I am not sophisticated enough to enjoy very dark chocolate (especially mixed with citrus). Maybe one day...
HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN THE CHOCOLAT-E ADVENTURE? My adventure began the day I heard Corinne singing at the brunch table. I insisted on meeting “that voice”… and shortly thereafter, Jeanyves became my partner in crime… children’s books, design projects and now Chocolat-e!
WHAT DO YOU PARTICULARLY CARE ABOUT CHOCOLAT-E? I care deeply about all that Chocolat-e stands for: inclusion, dignity, sustainability, global thinking, deliciousness and having fun and making a difference along the way. Yum!
LARRY, MISTER AMBASSADOR
HOW AND WHY DID YOU BECOME… A CHOCOLAT-E AMBASSADOR? I learned my work ethics from my parents. For the early part of my life my Dad was a stay at home parent which was unheard of in the '50's. He bought a gas station and worked 12-14 hours a day while my Mom worked in the insurance industry. I learned from them to be in college, have a more than part time job and still have time to do things teenagers and 20 somethings do. I graduated with a degree in computer sciences and immediately went to work. Along the way I switched to banking and managed 50 offices for loan production, managed multiple offices, and was a private banker. I learned to give back and I sit on three non profit Boards and have been a Rotary President. I've been very fortunate to have a wife that has "put up" with some of my crazy ideas and schedules and kept me grounded. Now that I am semi-retired we have more time to be together.
WHAT IS YOUR FIRST VOCATION? I delivered papers at 4;30 in the morning. I then worked at our service station after school and all day on Saturday's when I was 14-15, I worked at and ultimately managed a drive-in restaurant till I graduated college and then got a job in computers for a large drug manufacturer.
YOUR DEFINITION OF A GOURMET? To me a gourmet is someone that is an expert and a standout in their field. Someone that I am willing to pay for their expertise and experience to make my journey easier.
OUR FIRST MEMORIES WITH CHOCOLATE? I think it's Halloween. In that period kids could actually go out by themselves without concern and get a lot of candy! Then sorting it once I got back home.
SPEAKING OF CHOCOLATE, WHAT DO YOU LIKE, WHAT DO YOU EAT FIRST, WHAT DO YOU NEVER EAT? I have grown an appreciation for dark chocolate. My favorite is milk chocolate. Chocolate I never eat, anything tainted with coffee.
HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN THE CHOCOLAT-E ADVENTURE? Chocolat-e was my client at the last bank I worked at before retiring. When I announced my retirement Jeanyves and Norm approached me to become their first Chocolate Ambassador. I am very appreciative that they thought that highly of me.
WHAT DO YOU PARTICULARLY CARE ABOUT CHOCOLAT-E? The care with which the company's business model and the care these gentlemen put into its creation and life. Sure, they want to make a return on their investment but it's a lot more than that alone. They want to direct and make Chocolat-e into a B Corp which is not an easy task. They want to help eradicate child and womens rights abuses in the industry, they want to do the least amount of damage to the environment with their product and packaging. I am continually amazed at the process and complexity that happens behind every wrapper filled with this amazing chocolate and fruit puree.
PHOTOGRAPHY: AUBRIE LEGAULT
LAURA, MS VIDEO AND MEDIA
HOW AND WHY DID YOU BECOME…A VIDEO AND MEDIA MAVEN!? I was always interested in creating art. As a child, I remember submitting every project and report with a complete artistic representation of whatever the subject matter happened to be. Art was always my favorite subject and I ended up majoring in fine arts in college. In the middle of my college career, I decided to take a “gap year” or two, got a Eurail pass, traveled all around Europe, and ending up living in London for a while. Upon my return to the States, I decided to switch it up and graduated with a degree in film. After college, I was a television producer for a couple major news networks, where I did mostly long-form documentary style programming. Now I do media consulting and video production.
WHAT IS YOUR FIRST VOCATION? I am a storyteller at heart. There are too many people in this world who are deemed unimportant because no one has heard their story. I always wanted to find creative ways to bring these previously unexamined stories to life.
YOUR DEFINITION OF A GOURMET? Someone who has the imagination and knowledge to appreciate the high quality delights life has to offer.
OUR FIRST MEMORIES WITH CHOCOLATE? Every Easter, my mother would make a really big deal out of making the perfect Easter basket. I loved going to our favorite sweets shop and picking out all yummy chocolate bunnies, chicks, and little foil wrapped eggs that would adorn my basket.
SPEAKING OF CHOCOLATE, WHAT DO YOU LIKE, WHAT DO YOU EAT FIRST, WHAT DO YOU NEVER EAT? I like dark and milk chocolate. I probably eat the chocolate with caramel or nuts first. I never eat white chocolate and I don’t like chocolate that is too sweet.
HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN THE CHOCOLAT-E ADVENTURE? I got involved through a random meeting with Mil at the dog park one morning. We started chatting and realized we had a lot in common. She told me what she did and I told her what I do. Mil then mentioned that Chocolat-e might need someone to help out with video and media. I did a chocolate tasting and was hooked!
WHAT DO YOU PARTICULARLY CARE ABOUT CHOCOLAT-E? I am really drawn to the Chocolat-e’s stance on sustainability and ethical farming practices. They are part of the solution, instead of being part of the problem like so many other companies. Also, the chocolate!!!
CHRISTOPHE, MISTER WORDS
HOW AND WHY DID YOU BECOME… (A COPYWRITER)? Because a girl absolutely wants to join the elite of the Sorbonne and I absolutely want the girl. So I prepare for the exams with her.
Because a famous French advertising executive wants a ghostwriter to write his book about François Mitterrand.
Because advertising creatives refuse to dive into complicated subjects (politics, health, finance...), and I happen to be the most creative consultant.
WHAT IS YOUR FIRST VOCATION? I’ve had my astronaut-veterinarian period, as every boy does. I realized early on that I love to read and write. Travelling, playing music, cooking, playing rugby, that came later.
YOUR DEFINITION OF A GOURMET? Curiosity! The gourmand will eat chocolate three times because he finds it good, the gourmet wants to know why it is good. You have to be curious, about tastes and the words that describe them. Tasting is fascinating, it's poetic accuracy: you fight with yourself to name the sensations in order to share them better with the world.
OUR FIRST MEMORIES WITH CHOCOLATE? Easter eggs, bells and chocolate chickens: you find them, you break them and the pieces seem huge. I often looked in May or June to see if there were any eggs left in the garden... I must confess, for a long time my favorite was white chocolate (actually cocoa butter).
SPEAKING OF CHOCOLATE, WHAT DO YOU LIKE, WHAT DO YOU EAT FIRST, WHAT DO YOU NEVER EAT? I like dark, crunchy chocolate. I'm a former smoker, and bitter chocolate - even 100% cocoa - is a good way to get over the craving of a cigarette. I like chocolate from Haiti and Santo Domingo, Papua, Madagascar, and Mexico. I also sometimes have a craving for ganache and chocolate mousse. In my family, there is a great tradition of making chocolate cake with fondant, semi-cooked or soft (all recipes can coexist).
HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN THE CHOCOLAT-E ADVENTURE? Jeanyves has been my brother in arms for more than 20 years - the most talented graphic designer I have ever met. Art director and copywriter, we form the minimal atom of the communication agency. There is no way I would let him live such a beautiful adventure without lending him my skills.
WHAT DO YOU PARTICULARLY CARE ABOUT CHOCOLAT-E? Gastronomy is a cultural hobby, even if culture is often an excuse to eat and drink more and more superb products! I like the idea of passing on a way of tasting chocolate, and forming one's own taste. I like that Chocolat-e has a demanding and refined tone, without being elitist or snobbish. And everyone at chocolat-e thinks like me!
ANNETTE, MS SEO
HOW AND WHY DID YOU BECOME… (WHAT YOU ARE NOW)? I could not have asked for a better introduction to acting a mindful deliberate small business owner. After 15 years, at Gresham Ford, in the car business growing each department and the business, a health a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis forced me to evaluate the balance in my life. Choosing to work from home provides me the flexibility to choose my hours and be an intentional parent to our 3 year old. Choosing to start my own business and deliberately choose my clients allows me to pursue the projects that interest me the most and work with people I truly enjoy. Life is short. Our work and products of that labor should matter.
WHAT IS YOUR FIRST VOCATION? My first job was at a lumber yard. Assisting contractors to pull their list of materials and charge them correctly was my first experience as a women in a male dominated industry.
YOUR DEFINITION OF A GOURMET? I define gourmet as a surprising and deliberate flavor experience. Portland is a fantastic food destination and we are spoiled with so many enthusiastic chefs. Experiencing tastings of all kinds: wine, olive oil, coffee, and now chocolate has expanded my palate and my appreciation.
OUR FIRST MEMORIES WITH CHOCOLATE? My parents were very health conscious. I thought Halloween was when you dressed up in costumes and visited your close family for a slice of coffee cake. Until in third grade, Tracy Cotton, handed me a pillow case and introduced me to the suburban Halloween experience. As a country kid without a sidewalk I was overwhelmed. I tried M&M’s first and have worked my way through the flavors, pairings, and quality. Due to my health concerns I continue to work hard to keep processed sugar out of my diet. Over the last few years I have been exploring the world of dark chocolate and looking for my perfect treat.
SPEAKING OF CHOCOLATE, WHAT DO YOU LIKE, WHAT DO YOU EAT FIRST, WHAT DO YOU NEVER EAT? Coming from a rural farming family, I appreciate clean simple ingredients. I also appreciate the hard work and labor associated with the cultivation and processing. I understand that dark chocolate is preferrable in relation to your health. Many of the “fair trade” dark chocolates I have tasted are bitter and not very ethical upon further research. In an effort to remove processed foods from my diet I really don’t eat sweets other than fruit. Discovering Chocolat-e has provided me an opportunity to reintroduce a chocolate treat at the end of my day.
HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN THE CHOCOLAT-E ADVENTURE? A friend and fellow business owner, Ed Chin of All About Adventures, knows me as a bit of a foodie. As his web developer he wanted me to see first hand the latest addition to his guided Portland Food tour. We participated in a Discovery Box Single Origin Chocolate tasting and I was hooked.
WHAT DO YOU PARTICULARLY CARE ABOUT CHOCOLAT-E? I am impressed with their partnership with Valrhona. Working as a collective provides the resources and focal point for an ethical socially responsible product. The single origin product provides an opportunity to test out your taste buds and discover new memories, scents, and sensations every time you taste. Tasting and savoring is a great activity that helps calm my brain.
PHOTOGRAPHY: AUBRIE LEGAULT
HANNAH, MS COPYWRITING / REVIEWING
ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
HOW AND WHY DID YOU BECOME… (WHAT YOU ARE NOW)? My childhood obsession with the ocean -- and sharks in particular! -- brought me to Eckerd College, a small liberal arts school in St. Petersburg, Florida. I am currently completing my degree here, double majoring in Environmental Studies and Political Science. I also satisfy my love for writing and editing as a writing tutor for students on campus.
WHAT IS YOUR FIRST VOCATION? I started my dessert journey as an ice cream scooper in high school! I actually developed my taste for dark chocolate here as I had many opportunities to "hone" my tastebuds, you could say...
YOUR DEFINITION OF A GOURMET? "Gourmet," for me, is defined by the care with which a product is made. From picking the freshest ingredients, to meticulously crafting and revising at each step, Gourmet can only be made in the name of love, not efficiency.
OUR FIRST MEMORIES WITH CHOCOLATE? As a child, I remember going to the candy store in town with my mother. I used to gaze at all of the little chocolate creations behind the glass case -- turtles, cups, fruits, oh my! -- wishing I could try them all. I usually settled on something with milk chocolate and peanut butter, a combo that can't go wrong.
SPEAKING OF CHOCOLATE, WHAT DO YOU LIKE, WHAT DO YOU EAT FIRST, WHAT DO YOU NEVER EAT? As I mentioned, milk chocolate used to be my gospel. It wasn't until recently that I joined the dark side, and my new favorite combination is anything with dark chocolate and berries. I rarely touch white chocolate... with good reason.
HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN THE CHOCOLAT-E ADVENTURE? I have known Jeanyves since I was a toddler waddling around New York City; he is an old friend of my mother. When he needed some writing help for Chocolat-e, it turned into a wonderful opportunity to reconnect (with a bit more talking on my end this time!).
WHAT DO YOU PARTICULARLY CARE ABOUT CHOCOLAT-E? I think that Chocolat-e is a company of the future. Their model -- focused around building community and putting the needs of people and planet, before profit -- is the only viable design, in my opinion. If we are truly committed to creating a hospitable planet for everyone, we should expect all of our companies to be as warm, humble, and transparent as Chocolat-e.
PASCAL, MISTER CODING
HOW AND WHY DID YOU BECOME… (WHAT YOU ARE NOW)? I'm an artist. Whether I'm painting or writing code, I'm attracted to the creation and manipulation of things. The idea of writing lines of code to generate a visuals or functionality gets me excited. I'm a very curious individual, so the fact that the web development industry is one that needs constant learning and upkeep, has always attracted me.
WHAT IS YOUR FIRST VOCATION? I'm a travel bug so being able to work remotely from anywhere in the world was very appealing to me.
YOUR DEFINITION OF A GOURMET? Something that has been carefully thought through or put together. Attention to detail.
OUR FIRST MEMORIES WITH CHOCOLATE? I do not recall. :/
SPEAKING OF CHOCOLATE, WHAT DO YOU LIKE, WHAT DO YOU EAT FIRST, WHAT DO YOU NEVER EAT? I like dark chocolate. More bitter, less sugar.
HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN THE CHOCOLAT-E ADVENTURE? They contacted our agency early on to help update and maintain their online shop.
WHAT DO YOU PARTICULARLY CARE ABOUT CHOCOLAT-E? With so much junk being sold in the industry, I think it's super important to help promote products with quality ingredients and an eco-responsable mindset.
JAY, MISTER BOXES
HOW AND WHY DID YOU BECOME… (A PRINTER)? After graduating from Willamette University, and playing basketball for four years there, I moved to Hawaii and worked for a rental car company as a way to support myself while also having some much needed fun. On my return to Oregon - to focus on my career - I ran across a previous basketball booster who offered me a job at his local printing company, to help him start a sales department where I worked for a little over two years and was recruited away to a larger company and I worked for 35 years until they pulled out of the Oregon market in late 2017. I transitioned all of my customers to my current company, B&B Print Source, and haven’t looked back since.
WHAT IS YOUR FIRST VOCATION? I majored in Economics and thought I’d go into the travel business due to my love of travel. Instead I fell into the printing and marketing solution business and love every minute of it. (But I still love to travel.)
YOUR DEFINITION OF A GOURMET? High quality ingredients prepared by skilled crafts people.
OUR FIRST MEMORIES WITH CHOCOLATE? My grandmothers hall closet, where she always kept chocolate covered orange sticks which originated from Austria that she gave to her grandkids like me.
SPEAKING OF CHOCOLATE, WHAT DO YOU LIKE, WHAT DO YOU EAT FIRST, WHAT DO YOU NEVER EAT? I actually can’t think of any chocolate that I don’t like or don’t eat. I probably eat the milk chocolate first if I’m eating from a mixed box, otherwise I"ll just eat what’s there.
HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN THE CHOCOLAT-E ADVENTURE? Jeanyves contacted my company in February of 2018 to partner together on a very complex project that he was working on, which ultimately never materialized. Then Jeanyves introduced me to Norm and the three of us started discussing their new chocolate endeavor. We began working on packaging, flyers, and business material, and it didn’t hurt that they brought me samples to try.
WHAT DO YOU PARTICULARLY CARE ABOUT CHOCOLAT-E? Jeanyves and Norm are great guys to partner with and I love the direction the company is going with their attention to quality, detail, and sustainability.
PHOTOGRAPHY: AUBRIE LEGAULT
LUCIE, MS GOVERNANCE
Text to come...
AARON, MISTER LAWYER
HOW AND WHY DID YOU BECOME… (AN ATTORNEY)? I became an attorney so I could help people, and it is the best job I could ever imagine. I get to help people build business, take care of their families, and plan for their future. I started in college working with victims of domestic violence, and now I focus on business law and estate planning. I hope I get to keep doing it for many years to come.
WHAT IS YOUR FIRST VOCATION? Many many years ago, I started out as a fabricator and technical support person for the automotive racing industry.
YOUR DEFINITION OF A GOURMET? For me, a gourmet is someone who seeks a deeper understanding and appreciation for food or drink. I don’t think the kind of food matters as much as the passion of the person experiencing it.
OUR FIRST MEMORIES WITH CHOCOLATE? My first memories with chocolate are the Lindt truffles my parents would gift me at Easter. My favorites are still the orange and dark chocolate flavors.
SPEAKING OF CHOCOLATE, WHAT DO YOU LIKE, WHAT DO YOU EAT FIRST, WHAT DO YOU NEVER EAT? I don’t think that there is any kind of chocolate that I would NEVER eat, but the first to go is always the milk chocolate. I have a bit of a sweet toot.
HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN THE CHOCOLAT-E ADVENTURE? I was approached by Norm to be a part of this wild ride. I have always sought out Norm’s advice and help with difficult real estate problems in my law practice, and I trust him implicitly. So, when he asked if I wanted to help establish a chocolate company, how could I say no?
WHAT DO YOU PARTICULARLY CARE ABOUT CHOCOLAT-E? I love their commitment to ethical sourcing. I used to be a bit of a Hershey fan, but I was heartbroken when I learned about the prevalence of child slave labor in their production. I think it is wonderful that consumers will have access to amazing chocolate that is sourced such that everyone can enjoy it, even the people making it.
PHOTOGRAPHY: AUBRIE LEGAULT
AUBRIE, MS PHOTOS (USA)
HOW AND WHY DID YOU BECOME… THE PHOTOGRAPHER? I am a freelance food and drink photographer in the Portland area, and one day a Frenchman surprised me with a video call while I was still in my sweats. The rest is history.
WHAT IS YOUR FIRST VOCATION? Unless you count being a server or a lifeguard, my first actual vocation was Photography.
YOUR DEFINITION OF A GOURMET? Something delectable that is unique from a chef or food maker.
OUR FIRST MEMORIES WITH CHOCOLATE? I remember having steaming hot chocolate when I was little, after playing in the Midwest snow.
SPEAKING OF CHOCOLATE, WHAT DO YOU LIKE, WHAT DO YOU EAT FIRST, WHAT DO YOU NEVER EAT? I love raw oysters and a really good bagel. I have to eat breakfast first, and it has to be breakfast food items. No cold pizza for this girl. I only have three things that I do not like; grape-flavored foods (but I love grapes, wine, etc.), stuffing (it's wet bread, people!), and peapods.
HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN THE CHOCOLAT-E ADVENTURE? Jeanyves liked my style and my last name. We met, we chatted, and now I get to photograph amazing chocolate!
WHAT DO YOU PARTICULARLY CARE ABOUT CHOCOLAT-E? I love how team-oriented Chocolat-e is. They know that it is a group effort to create and sell delicious chocolate, and they include everyone like family. Plus... have you tried the chocolate bars? So good.
PHOTOGRAPHY: AUBRIE LEGAULT
GÉRARD, MISTER PHOTOS (EUROP)
HOW AND WHY DID YOU BECOME… A PHOTOGRAPHER? My father collected cameras and I used them growing up. When I was eleven years old, I lived in the suburbs of Paris. I had two friends and we decided to discover Paris by visiting its museums. I think these are the origins of my passion for photography.
WHAT IS YOUR FIRST VOCATION? I didn't think I had a vocation, but rather a passion for the arts in general. It was only later, when I met photography, that I understood what place it would take in my life.
YOUR DEFINITION OF A GOURMET? For me, a gourmet is someone who knows that eating can provoke the same wonderment that one has in front of a work of art.
OUR FIRST MEMORIES WITH CHOCOLATE? My mom's chocolate milk.
SPEAKING OF CHOCOLATE, WHAT DO YOU LIKE, WHAT DO YOU EAT FIRST, WHAT DO YOU NEVER EAT? I like all chocolates, when they are good. Especially pralines. But I hate white chocolate.
HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN THE CHOCOLAT-E ADVENTURE? For friendship.
WHAT DO YOU PARTICULARLY CARE ABOUT CHOCOLAT-E? The search for taste and passion for local chocolates, each with its own flavor.
PHOTOGRAPHY: JEAN TURCO
PHOTOGRAPHY BARS: AUBRIE LEGAULT