Theonista (n.) – Leaders of the chocolate revolution. The revolutionaries can often be heard chanting “Viva Cacao Organico!, Viva Cacao Calidad!” Considered a peace loving sect of the global food industry, the Theonistas are prone to Theobromine induced fits of laughter and hugging. Theo comes from. Anyone who has been on our deliciously fascinating tour can tell you it comes from the Greek name of the Cacao tree – Theobroma Cacao, Food of the Gods. In another sense, Theo is all of us, the self-proclaimed Theonistas who put a little piece of our heart into the work we do here in the factor
The founder, Joseph Whinney, pioneered the supply of organic cocoa beans into the United States in 1994. Joe always dreamt of building the first organic chocolate factory in the US, as prior to Theo’s inaugural chocolate run in March of 2006, all organic chocolate was manufactured in Europe and imported into the US market. As the first and only organic and Fair Trade chocolate factory in the country, all of our ingredients are carefully screened to ensure they meet our standards for social and environmental responsibility. Theo’s standards and practices include: Using only pure ingredients that are grown sustainably. We source our ingredients locally whenever possible.
Partnering with our growers by ensuring they earn a living wage and have access to education for their families.
Honoring and respecting our employees and suppliers. This is possible due to the unique fact that we control every step of our own manufacturing process.
Using green energy sources to power our factory.
Using sustainable packaging and printing methods.
Educating about social and environmental accountability 7 days a week through public tours of our artisan factory.
PLACE: The meaning of Origin
The heart of Theo resides in the cocoa growing regions of the world, which we lovingly refer to as “origin.” We buy our cacao direct from farmers and grower cooperatives. Building long –term business partnerships benefits farmers financially and technologically as we work together to perfect the art of growing quality cocoa beans. Economic stability keeps children in school, improves nutrition, and allows farmers to invest in equipment and land.
PEOPLE: The meaning of Fair Trade
Our founding principle is that the finest artisan chocolate in the world can (and should) be produced in an entirely ethical, sustainable fashion. We believe that every gold medal we win is a testament to both our commitment to excellence and to the people and families who grow and harvest our cacao. The social benefits of Fair Trade are far reaching. The child who gets adequate nutrition and access to healthcare and education today also gains access to a world of opportunities. Fair Trade enables farmers to take their livelihoods to the next level in sophistication, blending the benefits of modern techniques with artisanal practices, while participating in greater social change through the democratic Fair Trade cooperative organization.
PLANET: The meaning of Organic
Focus on sustainable growing practices benefits both our fragile environmental ecosystem and all of the people inhabiting our planet. Integrated pest management protects farmers and the environment from damaging pesticides. Shade grown cacao allows for biodiversity and much needed forest habitat for many species such as migratory birds. Reforestation helps offset worldwide air pollution and has a positive impact on global warming.
THEO: The meaning of Bean-to-Bar
Theo’s small batch chocolate production is truly an art form. We take great time and care to steward our cocoa beans through the entire manufacturing process, add only the finest, sustainably produced ingredients, and are proud to offer chocolate we can guarantee is equal parts ethical and delicious!