Well, Top This Chocolate has made it through the darkest days of the pandemic and Ventura harbor is humming with people again. It was a scary to own a new business at the time but we were able to quickly resort back to selling online and reaching out to both the national customers we built over the years and the locals whose email addresses we collected since opening in Ventura. The timing (with Easter and Mother’s Day providing occasions for sending gift cards and chocolate by mail) worked in our favor. It was heartwarming to see how much concern people have for small businesses. That concern became even more obvious as we slowly opened our doors to locals again and had eager customers tell us they knew we had only opened months earlier and were worried about us! So moving. The community near and far really carried us through and we are happy to report that with your help and government aid, we will be just fine. We did not want to ask anyone for money unless it was in exchange for chocolate and luckily we didn’t need to resort to that. A huge thank you to everyone who was still able to buy chocolate and did. We sincerely hope the dark clouds are also lifting for everyone else whatever the situation may be. With time it will all become a blip in history.
With that, we have an unfortunate announcement to make. We need to raise the price of our chocolate bars by $1. Why, you ask? Mostly because the global price of fair trade chocolate has increased. So what exactly is Fair Trade and why is it important? Fair Trade Certified means that the cocoa beans are sourced from producers who adhere to strict labor, environmental, and ethical standards that prohibit slavery and child labor and ensure that the cocoa farmers receive a steady income. Fair Trade cocoa beans are sourced predominantly from the Ivory Coast, Peru, Dominican Republic, and Ecuador. Through the sale of Fair Trade Certified chocolate, nearly $14 million has been invested back into communities of cocoa farmers since 1998, resulting in the funding of many community development projects, such as schools. Accordingly when it is decided by the governing organization that the price of cocoa beans needs to go up to for it to still be fair, it is important that we continue to pay it.
Luckily I’ve heard from many of you that our chocolate bars are an excellent deal because of the premium quality of the chocolate and because the bars are substantial. So, I’m hoping the extra $1 isn't too much and you will continue to feel that our chocolate is a good value and keep coming back. Stay safe. Stay calm. Eat great chocolate.
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