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!
LUCIE, MS GOVERNANCE
Text to come...
CORINNE, MS ETHICS
HOW AND WHY DID YOU BECOME… (WHAT YOU ARE NOW)? I was raised with parents who have always been curious about the world, other countries, and cultures. Our house always welcomed friends from all kinds of different backgrounds. There was always food on the table, juice or milk, and later wine. While strict, my parents were open minded and loved exploring. I started traveling abroad relatively young and discovered how people could live very differently, in some of the countries we visited. I started observing people early on, seeking to understand them, who they are, what they care about, where they come from, where they want to go. I asked questions and carefully listened to their answers (and still do). While I have studied various fields: literature, law, political science, communication, sustainability, and worked in various environments: international development and humanitarian organizations, NGOs, the private sector, - and lived in 15 countries - I realize that the common thread has always been people. Supporting them during conflict, listening to them and reporting on their working conditions, developing systems so that workers are considered in the global supply chain.
WHAT IS YOUR FIRST VOCATION? Serve humanity (ambitious, I know...).
YOUR DEFINITION OF A GOURMET? Someone who is completely in tune with their taste buds. Give them ample space and time to identify each flavor individually, and they will savor them in their globality.
OUR FIRST MEMORIES WITH CHOCOLATE? In France, as a child coming back from school, I used to have a glass of milk - or chocolate milk - with a cookie (or two, or three, or more…) that was popular at the time: either “Choco BN” or “Pepito”. I used to like the milk chocolate because I don’t think we were that exposed to dark chocolate at the time.
SPEAKING OF CHOCOLATE, WHAT DO YOU LIKE, WHAT DO YOU EAT FIRST, WHAT DO YOU NEVER EAT? I like dark chocolate and like it even better with hazelnuts. If I can, depending on how the chocolate is made/assembled, I would taste the nut first, then the chocolate, then both together. I take small bites because good chocolate requires your full attention. Come to think of it, I also eat with my eyes closed – and a smile on my face ☺ . I never eat “white chocolate,” and very seldom eat “milk chocolate”- that would only happen if I had an emergency craving and there was nothing else. But usually, I have dark chocolate around - even when I travel in the field - as a little bit of comfort and luxury, when in the face off adversity.
HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN THE CHOCOLAT-E ADVENTURE? First and foremost, I got involved out of friendship for Jeanyves. Then, of course, because I love chocolate and felt I could support Chocolat-e in their commitment to sustainability and ethical trading. I am passionate about fairness and global justice - I strive for all human beings to be treated with dignity - without any form of abuse - including those in the cocoa supply chain. As there is still a lot of work to be done to get there, I aim to do my share, while not losing sight of environmental issues and climate change in the cocoa sector.
WHAT DO YOU PARTICULARLY CARE ABOUT CHOCOLAT-E? They stick to their values.
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!
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.
LAURA, MS VIDEO & 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!!!
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.
NICK, MISTER DIGITAL STRATEGY (AND HIS TEAM)
HOW AND WHY DID YOU BECOME… (WHAT YOU ARE NOW)? Growing up in an entrepreneurial family, I have always wanted to run my own business and love how much data you get your hands on with digital marketing. After working for a couple of agencies and getting an MBA, I decided to try to apply my own methods and never looked back.
WHAT IS YOUR FIRST VOCATION? Building businesses and people specifically. I really love helping people become better versions of themselves and although I run a digital marketing agency, I believe the way I think about business and growth would work in many different industries.
YOUR DEFINITION OF A GOURMET? Something in the top of its class for taste, flavor, or creativity
OUR FIRST MEMORIES WITH CHOCOLATE? Eating Cadbury Easter Eggs. The are not gourmet, but I still pick a couple up each year to remember my childhood.
SPEAKING OF CHOCOLATE, WHAT DO YOU LIKE, WHAT DO YOU EAT FIRST, WHAT DO YOU NEVER EAT? Love chocolate combined with any type of fruit.
HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN THE CHOCOLAT-E ADVENTURE? I've been involved since nearly the beginning of the adventure, helping plan and strategize how to take Chocolat-e to market online.
WHAT DO YOU PARTICULARLY CARE ABOUT CHOCOLAT-E? I want the word to get out about the amazing chocolate from all over the world. I think emphasizing the different regions, farms, and chocolatiers will help grow the love for chocolate.
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
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
PHOTOGRAPHY: AUBRIE LEGAULT
AUBRIE, MS PHOTOS
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
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