Regional Meet-Ups are one of FCIA's flagship initiatives. These gatherings provide an opportunity for fine chocolate professionals to meet closer to home throughout the year to both network and discuss topics of interest. Topics might include sensory evaluation, packaging, craft chocolate trends, global demands, cocoa sources, consumer perceptions of fine chocolate, sourcing, environmental responsibility and more. To date, over 120 chocolate professionals around the US and Brazil have participated in these meetings.
In October, FCIA has scheduled two regional meet-ups:
- New England Regional Meet-Up on October 21st from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM co-hosted by Enna Grazier of Enna Chocolate and Richard Tango-Lowy of Dancing Lion Chocolate, at two locations: Manchester and Epping, New Hampshire
- Northwest Regional Meet-Up on Friday, October 26th from 6:00 – 7:30 PM hosted by Erin Andrews and Becca Roebber of indi chocolate, Seattle Washington
Two additional meetings are being planned in 2019:
- Dallas, to be hosted by 5 Mile Chocolate
- New York, New York, to be hosted by Kah Kow
If you would like to host a regional meet-up, please let us know by completing the information requested in this link. FCIA handles the registration, promotion and support. You provide the location, topic and enthusiasm.
When you see a regional meet-up scheduled for your area—please attend! That’s how we’ll know you want to keep regional meet-ups happening.
Thank you, hosts of the 2017-18 regional meet-ups:
- Shannon Neffendorf, Jessica Beeman and the team at 5 Mile Chocolate, Dallas, Texas
- David Upchurch & Chef Stephen Durfee at CIA Greystone, St Helena, California
- Arcelia Gallardo of Mission Chocolate in São Paulo, Brazil (in conjunction with Brazil Chocolate and Cacao Week)
- Erin Andrews and Becca Roebber, indi chocolate, Seattle, Washington
- Eric Hiller and the team at Enliven Cacao, Minneapolis, MN
- Melanie Boudar and Derek Lanter, Art of Chocolate & Cacao Santa Fe, in Albuquerque, NM (in conjunction with the Southwest Chocolate & Coffee Fest)
- Andal and Balu, Cocoatown, Roswell, GA
Here is what Brian Mikiten (pictured with FCIA Senior Advisor Karen Bryant) of Casa Chocolates reported:
"My wife Joan and I own Casa Chocolates in San Antonio. We were fortunate enough to attend the FCIA Dallas Regional Meet-Up earlier this last year. This was an especially wonderful event for us as we met an amazing graphic artist who we eventually had design our new packaging and met other chocolate makers and chocolatiers from Texas who spent time with us sharing tips. The hosts at Five Mile Chocolate made everyone feel welcome and there was a real sense of community and not competition. We all care about making a fine quality chocolate and ensuring that there is balance in the supply and consumption of beans throughout the world. We truly appreciate what FCIA brings to small makers in the form of education and support! It is truly priceless."
Meet-Up Photo Round-Up