Local business owner of Zimt Artisian Chocolates, Emma Smith offers some insight from her recent trip to Ecuador and has gracefully offered to write for Naturmend. Thanks Emma!
Having recently taken the opportunity to travel to Ecuador and meet the farmers and processors, my eyes were certainly opened to a much more holistic perspective.
Up until recently, I had simply ordered boxes and boxes and boxes of ingredients to include in Zimt products- like most small business owners, I had never been to the source of the product.
That all changed as I got to meet the community responsible for providing us with the raw cacao we know and love- finally, I was able to say thank you!
People usually eat chocolate for one reason: it tastes good. However, those of you who enjoy Zimt know that you are getting a little more than just happy tastebuds- you are getting an ethical, healthful product that, while certainly a treat, is much more mindful than most chocolate out there.
The majority of chocolate products contain cocoa that is farmed off of the Ivory Coast of Africa- and most of this is farmed using slave and child labour. Children as young as six work on cocoa plantations, in incredibly unsafe conditions to harvest. No school, no free time, and no other aspects of a normal, healthy upbringing.
I also saw kids on the farms where our cocoa is grown. Lots of them. But you know what they were doing? Playing in a river that flows nearby their homes- this was after school and they had no reservations of jumping in, fully clothed (and shoed. And back-packed). This is how things should be.
By eating a simple, whole foods diet, many of us reap the physical benefits of real food- but isn’t it nice to know that this food can also bring so many benefits to others? That is what came to mind while trekking through the Amazon to meet the farmers- when the end product is so healthy, and when the harvesters are treated so well, we get a “full circle”. Not only is it high antioxidant, high magnesium cacao, sweetened with low glycemic coconut sugar and simply fun to eat- it means something – beyond ones palate.
Hi, I’m Emma- owner and founder of Zimt Artisan Chocolates.
A few years ago, I set out to create the tastiest, healthiest and most ethical chocolate out there. It definitely wasn’t the tastiest back then, but I am proud to say that I think we’ve met all three targets at this point.
Zimt uses minimally processed, certified organic ingredients to create some stellar treats. There are no fillers, no common allergens, no nuts, no soy, no dairy… nothing offensive in Zimt. The base of our chocolate is fairly traded, raw cacao. We also sweeten all of our treats with coconut sugar: it’s low glycemic, organic, and minimally processed. I’d suggest you to take a close look at our ingredients list- everything on there should be pretty pronounceable.
Zimt is made in small batches, and our chocolate is of the bean-to-bar variety. Things have come pretty far from some very humble beginnings- our first kitchen was actually in a church in the neighbourhood where I grew up. I biked there almost every day the first summer I was getting Zimt going, loaded down with as many ingredients as I could fit in my backpack. My Oma started coming by to help me make the chocolate and package- and I really don’t know how I would have done without her. My family still helps out a lot and I’m thankful for them day. We’ve also grown the Zimt family and have many wonderful “oompa loompas” at this point!
I started Zimt to build a business doing something I firmly believe in- offering a quality product that is mindful and respectful of everyone on the planet- people and animals alike. I guess you could say that you’re doing everybody a favour when you eat Zimt, though it may just seem like your enjoying tasty chocolate! But whatever way you swing it, I thank you very, very much for supporting Zimt as we grow- there’s a lot of good ahead and I’m happy you’re here for the ride.