Episode 18 - Travel, Avocados, and Re-designing the System
In this episode, Sunita and Brian discuss some of Brian’s recent travelings and move into a topic about Amazon purchasing Whole Foods, and proceed into a discussion about markets and practices and value throughout the process, and can we redesign the system that chocolate exists within right now. Does what make sense for one make sense for all?
• (1:50) Brian talks about his visit to Breville’s Coffee Thinkers Summit in Los Angeles.
• (7:58) What are the barriers to entry in the coffee and chocolate industries and how do they differ?
• (17:43) How will Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods impact the craft chocolate industry?
• (20:30) Why is craft chocolate’s distribution system a failure?
• (26:13) Do consumers really need to be educated about every aspect of their coffee or craft chocolate?
• (30:13) Using the example of avocado farmers, Sunita laments how the Amazon-Whole Foods acquisition shows how much consumers value convenience over quality.
• (34:47) Sunita describes a recent trip to Switzerland, where she met the founders of Choba Choba, a happy chocolate company with a unique business model that tries to increase cacao farmer involvement and transfer value back to cacao’s origins.
• (42:29) Is Apple - who doesn’t apologize about its prices, creates an experience, and makes you want to aspire to be a part of Apple - a model for the values that craft chocolate aspires to?
• Brian attended Breville’s Coffee Thinkers Summit
• Brian wanted to visit Cincinnati, Ohio, home of Maverick Chocolate, which just introduced a bar made with Hawaiian cacao.
• While in Los Angeles, Brian stopped at Letterpress Chocolate.
• Carla Martin (@carladmartin), Founder and Executive Director of the FIne Chocolate and Cacao Institute, and a Lecturer at Harvard University, recently published an article discussing the size of the craft chocolate industry.
• Other resources that list craft chocolate makers: Flavors of Cacao and The Ultimate Chocolate Blog.
• Sunita is currently reading the new book by Megan Giller (@megangiller), titled “Bean to Bar Chocolate: America’s Craft Chocolate Revolution”
• Sunita and Brian discuss the new hairstyle sported by Sara (@sara_tea), formerly of Patric Chocolate and now the head chef at the Ritz Carlton in St. Louis.
• Sunita is inspired by Choba Choba, a Swiss chocolate company with a disruptive business model that aims to transfer or keep value at origin.
• Felchlin is a Swiss chocolate maker that produces chocolate for Choba Choba, amongst others.