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FCIA Member Happenings

  • July 19, 2018 11:31 AM | Anonymous

    Lake Champlain Chocolates was created in 1983 and offered hand made confections crafted in Burlington, Vermont, to specialty food stores mainly in the greater Northeastern United States. Thirty-five years later, Lake Champlain Chocolates is now one of the top 15 specialty chocolate brands in both the Natural and Specialty Grocery channels and is gaining traction in the conventional retail channel. We had the chance to catch up with president, Eric Lampman.

    Can you share with us some of Lake Champlain's achievements over the past few years in terms of market growth, cocoa supply chain support and B Corps designation?

    The company strengthened its commitment to fair trade, organic and non-GMO ingredients in the past eight years, resulting in a refreshed portfolio that spans everyday and seasonal products that are certified Fair for Life and USDA Organic

    In 2012, we were connected with BK Matlick, a long time cocoa industry consultant working with cocoa farmers around the globe. Our desire was to connect with a cocoa community and develop a supportive relationship. Quickly a partnership with producers in Lachua, Guatemala, formed and collaboration began, including: Farmer Field School Training for 25 farmers, fixing three motor bikes to assist budstick transport between remote community grafting nurseries, and super tree flavor evaluations.

    Lake Champlain Chocolates invested in the co-creation of Cacao Verapaz in 2014, establishing an export supply chain for premium cacao sourced from indigenous cocoa farmers.  We are thrilled with the growth opportunity this has created to cocoa producers in Guatemala and smile each time we discover a new craft chocolate maker product made with Guatemala cacao.

    We are very proud of becoming a B Corp -- certified in May 2018! The designation confirms our commitment to progressive social and environmental business practices, accountability and transparency. The B Corp community of businesses includes more than 2,500 companies worldwide that believe business is a force for good. We are excited to join a small number of chocolate industry companies that are already B Corp certified, including FCIA members French Broad Chocolates and Uncommon Cacao.

    Lake Champlain has been a strong supporter of FCIA's new strategic plan.  What aspects of the plan do you find most important for your business and how do you see the FCIA platform in general helping the fine chocolate industry?

    The new strategy at FCIA brings a renewed energy and perspective for its members. New leadership from an experienced cocoa industry advocate, in Bill Guyton, will undoubtedly bring exposure to new resources and programs. The recent restructure and new strategic plan bring with it seriousness about moving the fine chocolate segment forward in a united manner. New programs with USDA and Canopy Bridge, among others, offer great opportunity for U.S. chocolate makers and confectioners to work on capacity building projects within the supply chain. Such opportunities in the past have been less available and difficult to navigate independently for smaller businesses.  

    Where do you see the fine chocolate industry in five years from now?  

    The fine chocolate industry has evolved in the past five years considerably. I believe there are now more companies that have a clearer vision of themselves.  In the next five years I foresee more bean to bar chocolate makers becoming vertically integrated confectioners, building out product offerings well-beyond the tablet format. 

  • July 19, 2018 10:29 AM | Anonymous

    As I write this, I’m sitting in a dorm at West Virginia Wesleyan College half-way through my first summer residency of the MFA in Creative Writing Program. So, you might think writing this message would be easy. It’s not.

    With this life switch from serving as FCIA’s Executive Director to hopeful novelist, competing feelings surface: Sadness that I’ll no longer be working so closely with you to advance the fine chocolate industry. Pride in what we’ve accomplished these past four years. Gratitude for the friendships and the deep knowledge I’ve gained. Excitement in seeing the new contacts and ideas that our new Executive Director Bill Guyton brings to the table.

    But, milestone birthdays remind us of dreams deferred, and so many of you have modeled stepping into those dreams with courage. So, here I am, saying goodbye to one part of my life and hello to another.

    These four years with FCIA have been some of the most satisfying and productive years of my professional life. I want to thank FCIA President Clark Guittard and our supportive Board of Directors for greenlighting so many new projects, like full-day Elevate Chocolate events, the two-year long consumer perception research, the mentoring program, the regional meet-ups and the webinar series. And, I want to thank all of you members who embraced this growth and expansion.

    I also want to send a special thank you to former FCIA President Pam Williams for bringing me into the fold and nurturing me my first years.

    And, last but not least, a big thank you to FCIA Member Services Manager Jennifer Wicks – you are a steadying force and FCIA is so very fortunate to have you on the team (and a great chocolate maker!).

    I’ll be staying on through December in a much-reduced role as Senior Advisor to help nurture some of our newer projects along. 

    But, as I step down from my role as Executive Director, I wish FCIA and all Members and Friends the best. I hope to see you all at future events and please feel free to contact me.

    In gratitude,

    Karen


  • July 19, 2018 10:09 AM | Anonymous

    FCIA members rely on quality ingredients to produce fine chocolate products.   For cocoa, Latin America produces some of the best flavor beans.  West African and Southeast Asian beans, however, are also included in many fine chocolate recipes.  

    Cocoa is grown primarily by small scale, family farmers in the tropics.  In a recent Washington Post op-ed, Fairtrade America's Hans Theyer described the difficult working conditions on cocoa farms.  Farmers are often poorly supported, underpaid and typically have limited connection with the end market. 

    As part of a new strategic plan, FCIA is developing partnerships with cocoa sustainability programs in Latin America and West Africa to address some of these problems. Public-private partnership programs are designed to improve cocoa quality and market linkages while ensuring better farming conditions. 

    During the FCIA Elevate Chocolate Event in June, FCIA was honored to sign two important cocoa partnership agreements.   The first agreement was with the "European Committee for Training Agriculture" or  "CEFA" project in Ecuador.  CEFA is an Italian organization, funded by the European Union, to strengthen farmer organizations and best practices at the farm.  Working with Canopy Bridge, another non-profit organization, CEFA provides training to thousands of fine cacao farmers seeking direct commercial relationships with premium chocolate companies.  

    The second agreement was with the "Maximizing Opportunities for Cacao Activity" or "MOCA" project in Cote d'Ivoire.  MOCA is funded by U.S. Department of Agriculture and implemented by an organization called Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA).  Although Cote d'Ivoire is not traditionally considered a "fine flavor" origin, the MOCA project will improve bean quality on Ivoirian farms through better post harvest practices.  This is a win for farmers and the chocolate industry.

    What will be the impact of these partnerships?  We asked this question to an organization working in Central America that recently attended the FCIA Elevate Chocolate Event.  They reported receiving more than 25 new company contacts through the FCIA network.  Prospective buyers requested 20+ cocoa samples from the program.  This is a great first step in shortening the supply chain, securing quality and consistent supply of beans, while providing training and support for cocoa farmers. 

    For more information on how your company can participate in these types of programs or join FCIA's cocoa supply chain committee, please contact Bill Guyton.


  • July 15, 2018 7:12 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Manufacturing Confectioner published an article summarizing the results of FCIA's research on Consumer Perceptions of Fine Chocolate in the June 2018 edition of the magazine. Read the full article here.


  • July 15, 2018 6:40 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – On June 30, Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA), an international agricultural development organization, announced that the Fine Chocolate Industry Association (FCIA) and the Maximizing Opportunities in Cocoa Activity (MOCA) project, implemented by CNFA, will sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) at FCIA’s annual meeting on June 30, 2018.

    Read the full press release......

  • June 13, 2018 9:52 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Lake Champlain Chocolates 

    Ice Cream is on the Move with new 

    Ice Cream Truck!

     Burlington, VT Just in time for summer, there will be a new spot to enjoy Lake Champlain Chocolates (LCC) ice cream.  In addition to the Vermont chocolate company’s three retail stores, LCC will be on the road with a new ice cream truck!

     “Having an ice cream truck has been a dream of ours for a long time.” says LCC President Eric Lampman. “The truck will allow us to reach beyond our three retail stores, and bring our ice cream to venues where new customers can discover our delicious product.”

     Customers will find the truck at various events including the Shelburne Museum Classic Auto Festival, at Oakledge Park for the July 3rd Independence Day Celebration, the Lake Champlain Maritime Festival, the Stowe Classic Tennis Tournament, and the Vermont Mozart Festival.  When not on the road, the truck will be serving ice cream at LCC’s flagship store on Pine Street in Burlington.  Fans can keep track of the truck’s travels by following the LCC Facebook page throughout the summer.

     “We’ve been making our award-winning ice cream since 2001,” says Gary Coffey, Director of Retail for LCC.  “Having the truck will not only get our ice cream on the road to more events, but also allow for extended hours after the Pine Street store has closed,  giving our customers more time and more places to enjoy our ice cream.”

     Keep an eye out for more information about a Wednesday night lawn series starting July 11 at LCC’s 750 Pine Street location to celebrate the company’s 35th Anniversary and its new status as a Certified B Corporation. 

     LCC has received recognition for its delicious ice cream throughout the years, most recently in the 2018 May/June issue of Yankee Magazine and as a 6-time Daysie Award winner for best house-made ice cream in Northern Vermont.  In addition to ice cream, the LCC ice cream truck will serve milkshakes, sundaes, and house-made ice cream sandwiches. 

     

  • June 11, 2018 6:34 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Artisan Confection & Chocolate Suite (bars & truffles) & Supplies Available NOW in Los Angeles. See partial list attached

    Contact 310-479-3849 or  joan@choclatique.com

    • 4 Selmi tempering machines & Enrobing Tunnel
    • 8 Chocovision tabletop tempering machines
    • Vibrating Tables
    • Chocolate Molds
    • Fire Stove w/Kettles, Cooling Table & Cutters
    • Mold & Storage Racks
    • Scales
    • Shrink Wrap Station
    • Tools & Smallwares
    • Plus Much More
  • June 04, 2018 5:16 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Join the folks at Fascia's Chocolates in Waterbury, CT for a PMCA short course: Chocolate Manufacture: The Basics and More. The course takes place August 6-8, 2018. Register here. Attaches is a brochure for the course.

    Chocolate Tempering

  • June 02, 2018 12:58 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Hands on Intensive Workshop

    Are you planning to start a Bean to Bar Craft Chocolate business?  Are you a chef, pastry chef, or chocolatier who sees opportunities for craft chocolate within the culinary arts?  Do you simply love to understand how your food is made or just love chocolate?   We have the workshop for you.

    CocoaTown’s intensive three day, hands-on Bean to Bar workshop will cover all aspects of making chocolate starting from selecting, sorting, and roasting cocoa beans to making finished products, packaging and business processes.

    Cost: $1250 per participant (group rates offered) receive a $300 credit towards the purchase of CocoaTown equipment for each paid participant.

    When:  Aug 15th – Aug 17th, 2018
    Where: 108 Oak St. Rowell GA 30075

    Teachers: Dr. Darin Sukha, Professor, Cocoa Research Center, University of West Indies, Trinidad.  Click Here

    For more details on the workshop and to register Click Here  

  • May 26, 2018 2:01 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Benefitting the Artist-in-Residence Program

    Burlington, VT – Throw back to 1983, Jim Lampman had just sold the Ice House Restaurant to focus on a new chocolate business.  Fast forward to 2018 and Lake Champlain Chocolates (LCC) is thrilled to be celebrating its 35th anniversary with the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival (BDJF), also 35 years old.

     “We’ve always been a strong supporter of the Flynn and the creative arts,” says Eric Lampman, second generation owner and current President.  “It’s gratifying to have such long and strong relationships with organizations like the BDJF.  The festival brings so much energy and enthusiasm to our downtown and we are proud to be a part of it.”

     To further celebrate LCC’s support of the festival, they are thrilled to introduce the 6th limited-edition BDJF chocolate bar:  Bar35.   LCC mixed it up this year by creating a bar using their best-selling Five Star Bar format.  Filled with smooth, honey-infused caramel, roasted peanut butter, and crunchy, salted pretzels covered in milk chocolate. It’s a grown-up spin on a familiar combination that will conjure up childhood memories.

     “Our team looks forward to this project every year,” says Meghan Fitzpatrick, Marketing and PR Specialist. “And with Bar35’s broad appeal flavor, we hope to completely sell out by the end of the festival. Keep an eye out for the groovy Bar35 design by local firm Place Creative at LCC’s three company stores and at the Flynn Theater and Flynn Space for the duration of the festival.”

     To raise awareness and support the festival, $2.00 from each bar sold goes to help fund the BDJF’s Artist-in-Residence program. Every year a celebrated jazz musician is invited to spend time in the community, participate in music education, and engage with festivalgoers, local groups and social service agencies. By reaching out to people of all ages through the Burlington area, the Artist-in-Residence expands jazz audiences, provides enriching experiences and helps make the festival an engaging and inspiring 10-day event—one that Lake Champlain Chocolates has been proud to sponsor for nearly 20 years.

     Priced at $5.00, the limited-edition bar will be available for purchase from now until June 10, or while supplies last.  It can be found at Lake Champlain Chocolates’ retail locations on Church Street, Pine Street and in Waterbury Center, and online at www.lakechamplainchocolates.comBar35 will also be available at Flynn Center.


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Executive Director: Bill Guyton / 1.206.577.9983 / Email Bill

Event Manager: Nicole Price / 1.312.953.4541 / Email Nicole

For membership inquiries: Jennifer Wicks / 1.406.370.8606 / Email Jennifer

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