For some reason, I decided to go on a sugar detox of sorts this week. I blame Fed Up, an eye-opening documentary I recently watched on Netflix, for inspiring me to cut back on the good stuff. But, as you might imagine, this has resulted in crazy-lady road rage like nothing else. But there’s one bit of sugary goodness I refuse to quit, and that’s chocolate. I’m not a masochist, after all.
So, of course, I researched the healthiest way to feed my vice and discovered today’s Woman to Watch. In doing so, I also learned there is a lot more to know about the rich, sugary food of the gods that is chocolate, and you won’t want to miss it. You can bet your sweet patootie!
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 17
Like some other manufacturing industries, there’s a dark side to chocolate. (And no, I’m not talking about dark chocolate.) I’m referring to unfair practices and inhumane conditions. The International Labor Organization estimates there are some 250 million child slaves working to produce items most of us can’t live without: coffee and cocoa.
While that statistic is sad and infuriating, there is something us chocoholics can do about it. The Good Trade, an organization founded in 2014 to promote ethically sourced purchases, has identified 17 fair-trade chocolate brands that have made it their mission to employ fair-trade practices with the farmers who cultivate the cocoa used to make chocolate. Armed with this list of fair-trade chocolate brands, you can now ensure pleasing your sweet tooth will be guilt-free!
WOMAN TO WATCH: Sarah Endline, Founder and CEO of SweetRiot
One of those 17 fair-trade chocolate brands is called SweetRiot, a sugary business with an even sweeter social mission. This treat of a company was founded by social entrepreneur and self-proclaimed “hippie capitalist” Sarah Endline.
SweetRiot is famous for its ridiculously addictive dark-chocolate-covered cacao nibs. Basically, they are little bits of cacao bean that have been lightly roasted and then enveloped in 65 percent dark chocolate. Just talking about these sweet little chocolate nuggets makes me hungry!
Most of SweetRiot’s products are on the more bitter end of the spectrum, making them a healthier alternative to traditional milk chocolate. If you’re a real chocoholic, like me, you can even join the Monthly Riot Club and have your regular dose of fair-trade chocolate stash delivered right to your door.
Despite its selection of tasty morsels, SweetRiot is about more than chocolate. With a mission to create a more just and celebrated multicultural world for the next generation, this business is committed to globally responsible, fair-trade practices that benefit farmers, customers, partners and employees. Sarah says it’s all about weaving social responsibility into every nook and cranny of her brand. That means SweetRiot products are ethically sourced and contain only premium, high-quality and all-natural ingredients. And the company only works with and donates to partners that are committed to SweetRiot’s fair-trade values. One partner who made the cut is The Reciprocity Foundation, a nonprofit that provides transformative programming for homeless and foster youth in New York City.
This emphasis on social good can also be seen on a smaller scale at the SweetRiot office, where Sarah offers her employees—or “rioters”—health-care stipends and emphasizes a healthy work-life balance.
Sarah is proving you can take something that’s nearly perfect—chocolate!—and make it even better by ensuring your values lead the way.
QUITE THE QUOTE
The creator of the beloved comic strip Peanuts, Charles Schultz, said:
“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”
This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.