CHOCOLATE SOURCING: Traceable, Ethical & Delicious!

There is a lot to consider when sourcing ingredients for our confections here at GDC. From chocolate to sugar to dairy to toppings, cups, packaging and apparel, we recognize the power of thoughtful sourcing as a means for social change.  While quality is always a driving factor behind our purchasing decisions, we are dedicated to sourcing chocolate and other ingredients that are ethically traded and sustainably grown. This means paying fair prices, sourcing chocolate grown on healthy, family farms and ensuring forced labor is never used in our value chain, especially forced labor by children.

On a trip to Ecuador in 2008, Jody and Mimi (GDC's founder) met Jenny Samaniego and quickly became friends. When the Haydens purchased GDC in 2013, Jody reached out to Jenny about making chocolate for the shop and the rest is herstory! Jenny now has an established business, Conexion Chocolate, making a professional line of confectionary chocolate as well as her own line of bars.  

Jenny works directly with farmers and cooperatives, in her home country of Ecuador, to purchase cacao that is grown sustainably. She works together with them to achieve the highest quality beans and supports young farmers to keep the industry alive. Her chocolate is unique in that it is:

1. Exclusively Nacional - A rare, prized floral and fruity variety of cacao. It's delicious! Our 70% Los Rios and 85% Calceta chocolate have even been designated as Heirloom by the Heirloom Cacao Preservation Fund (Jody serves on the BOD) via their rigorous, anonymous tasting process.

2. Produced in the country of origin, Ecuador, so more of the value and knowledge of the supply chain, along with good jobs, remain where they're most needed. Plus, it's more likely farmers get quality information/feedback when chocolate is made in the country of origin.

3. Made by a woman in a male-dominated industry. Go Jenny! We couldn’t be more lucky to call her a friend and to have her as our chocolate-making partner.