Natural Products Expo East 2018
Baltimore Convention Center
Baltimore, MD, USA
Alyse Thompson of Candy Industry Magazine came to visit Davis Chocolate! Click here to read what she found.
The experience of chocolate melting on your tongue is like no other.
At Davis Chocolate, we begin with the finest cacao beans selected from Fair Trade Certified™ suppliers. By using minimal processing techniques, our chocolates bring forth flavors evocative of their natural origin.
Most commercially made chocolate contains lecithin, an emulsifying agent that prevents cocoa butter from separating from cocoa solids and milk (in milk chocolate recipes), stabilizing the cocoa solids. (Not exactly the "melt on your tongue" chocolate experience your customers want.)
Commonly, lecithin is derived from soy. Most soy in North America is genetically modified (GMO). Among many consumers, there are growing concerns that genetically modified ingredients present potentially long-term health risks. Listed by the FDA as a major food allergen, research also indicates soy may present some cancer risks.
For these reasons, Davis Chocolate is committed to remaining a soy-free facility.
There are relatively few soy-free chocolate brands in today's market. As you seek to differentiate your products from the rest, we are ready to help you with custom recipes, single-origin bean selection and efficiently produced finished products.
If you give a kid a candy bar, he enjoys it for a moment. If you give cocoa mulch to the Unity Gardens in South Bend, you enrich the whole community.
For several years, Davis Chocolate™ in Mishawaka, Indiana, has donated cocoa hulls to the local non-profit, which turns the shells into nutrient rich natural mulch at its 7-acre open garden on South Bend’s west side.
Master gardener Mitch Yaciw says the cocoa mulch acts as a pre-emergent barrier against weeds and, as it breaks down, the nitrogen in the mulch attracts worms, enriching the soil. (He does note that cocoa mulch can be dangerous to dogs.)
As a youth, Yaciw worked in garden stores and remembers selling cocoa mulch, but said he was unable to find it for sale locally. He met Davis Chocolate president Brent Davis at a fundraising event sponsored by Indulgence Pastry Shop and Café in South Bend.
Just like the fine chocolate made at Davis Chocolate, the right ingredients came together to create something magical.
Davis Chocolate had cocoa hulls – a byproduct of the bean-to-bar chocolate making process – and the Unity Gardens had a way to use them in an environmentally safe way. Even more than enriching the soil, volunteers at the Unity Gardens use cocoa mulch to improve the neighborhood through the cooperative practice of community gardening.
Chocolate comes from cacao trees. The beans (actually seeds) are imported from often volatile regions with little infrastructure, grown by small farmers with few resources. Pressured by the global demand for chocolate and to eek out a meager living, local farmers clear forest lands that once provided shade for the tender cacao trees, to make room for more plantings. (Sustainable Cocoa Economy, 2007)
The economic, environmental and social benefits of cocoa production are the interdependent “three pillars of sustainability.” Each pillar’s strength depends on sustaining and developing the integrity of the other two pillars. To allow cocoa production to satisfy the needs of a growing market, responsible chocolate makers engage in fair trade principles.
Fair Trade USA, with whom Davis Chocolate partners, believes “every purchase matters” and offers chocolate consumers a way to identify quality products that improve the lives of the farmers and protect the environment where cacao trees grow. Producer cooperatives share in the economic benefit of the cocoa trade, empowering the farmers to create positive change in their communities.
The Unity Gardens executive director, Sara Stewart RN MSN, explains the garden is a lure: gathering a diverse group of people to work together and feeding the hungry with their harvest.
Aside from providing a bountiful yield available for all who wish to partake, the Unity Gardens offers gardening classes, cooking and preserving lessons, and summer day camp for kids. The nonprofit trades with local grocers and restaurants, such as South Bend Farmers Market and Javier’s Bistro on Miami Street, and receives support from philanthropic interests, like the Pokagon Fund and Beacon Health (Memorial Hospital.)
The Community Foundation of St Joseph County also sought to help make the Unity Gardens sustainable. The recent Give Local SJC day provided the Unity Gardens with its largest fundraising event ever; 90 donors raised $47,685 in 24 hours.
Stewart said the kid’s camp is making a difference in the community. The Memorial Hospital Youth Discovery Project gives kids in the nearby Beacon Heights neighborhood a place of belonging, with supervised activities during the day. The Unity Gardens contributes fresh produce to the summer lunch program offered by the South Bend Parks, and the meals include healthy ingredients harvested by the campers themselves. The effort empowers campers with a sense of purpose and develops self-esteem, as they provide for themselves and their families.
In this way, the Unity Gardens and cocoa mulch from Davis Chocolate contribute to a positive network of accountability locally. Through ethical trading practices in the worldwide cocoa industry and corporate responsibility here at home, Davis Chocolate is finding ways to craft premium chocolate while closing the loop on sustainability,
At Davis Chocolate, we take great pride in making premium chocolate that delights the senses.
If we needed any reminder about why we love to make chocolate, it is the look on this girl's face!
Learn more about how Davis Chocolate can help you make your chocolate making dreams come true, sign up for our newsletter by clicking here!
April is National Pest Management Month.
While we’re not going to ask if you hugged your pest professional today, we do believe prevention is the best defense. That is why we will be reviewing our own preventive policies as part of our ongoing commitment to food safety, as part of the Mentor Food Safety HACCP Challenge!
At Davis Chocolate™, we take pride in thinking outside the box. With every private label and co-manufacturing customer comes an opportunity to get creative and craft exclusive, custom-made chocolate. But when Food Network star Paul Joachim called, Brent Davis, company founder and chief chocolatier, was challenged to manufacture something entirely new.
Is there any sweeter memory than waking up early Easter morning and scrambling out of bed in search of sweet treats? The brightly colored boiled eggs we dyed the day before mingled in hidden baskets with equally vivid jelly beans, and of course, the foiled wrapped chocolate egg!