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Zazubean - bean-to-bar chocolate maker or wannabe?

I'm not convinced this Canadian company is a bean to bar chocolate maker. What about you?

Quote from Zazubean’s website:

"Zazubean’s line of functional chocolates is the ultimate Gourmet healthy dark chocolate made from bean to bar. Using only 100% organic ingredients and fair-trade cocoa beans, Zazubean combines a delicious dark chocolate from Panama and Ecuador with a unique blend of botanical extracts, making this the first Canadian functional, organic fair-trade dark chocolate."

www.zazubean.com

Quote from PDF-file about Top 10 Innovators, published by Food in Canada (Page 103):

Gilbert, who is the former CEO of Small Business B.C., met Ienna at a “chocolate tasting event” a few years later, eventually joining her to form Zazubean. . . .
Last year the company succeeded in launching Canada’s first gourmet dark chocolate product that is not only 72-percent cacao, but is fair trade, organic, lowsugar and a nutraceutical. “We try to make every effort to reduce Zazubean’s ecological footprint,” notes Gilbert. “Instead of sourcing our beans from faraway places and sending them to Europe for processing, only to have them sent back to us for further processing, we ship our beans directly from Equador and Panama to our processing plant in Washington state,” she says.

http://www.bizlink.com/foodfiles/PDFs/may2008/top10.pdf

Quote from interview with with Small Business BC CEO Tara Gilbert:

Question: How big is it?

Answer: Very small. There are a number of parttime employees and one full-time employee. The business was incorporated in 2005 and we’ve had product in the market since January 2007, so not a long time.

http://www.makeitbusiness.com/FeatureStory.aspx?ArticleID=249

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I think it is clear that they are not bean-to-bar from Gilbert's own statement:

"Instead of sourcing our beans from faraway places and sending them to Europe for processing, only to have them sent back to us for further processing, we ship our beans directly from Equador and Panama to our processing plant in Washington state,” she says."

I am assuming that the processing plant in Washington state is Theo, since Theo already processes their own chocolate, and all of it is organic.

Zazubean does use the phrase "bean to bar" on their homepage, however, which, if the above is true, would not be accurate.
I can add a statement in a pressrelease:
“Zazubean is the first Canadian organic, fair-trade, functional chocolate in Canada,” explained Zazubean co-founder T. Camille Gilbert. “Our timing to enter the market is serendipitous. We are bean-to-bar company, meaning that we carefully control the quality and integrity of our manufacturing from bean to final product every step of the way.”
http://www.zazubean.com/Press/Zazubean_Press_Release_Sept%2007.doc

I think they have invented their own bean-to-bar definition.
From Masur:

"I think they have invented their own bean-to-bar definition."
----------------

Looks like it.

Alan
IMO, If they don't own the processing plant in Washington State, they're not bean-to-bar.

It's also not a Canadian product: none of the ingredients grows in Canada and none of the processing is done in Canada. So, is the fact that the company that markets and sells it is in Canada enough to make it Canadian? IMO, no.

They also make the all-too-common mistake of equating quantity (cocoa percentage) with quality.

:: Clay
Also, someone just reminded me that Theo does a blend bar with Panamanian and Ecuadorean cacao.
http://www.theochocolate.com/products/

Also, I failed to mention that Theo does Fair Trade products as well. So here are the facts:

Theo:

Fair Trade
Organic
Using cacao sourced from Ecuador and Panama
In Washington state

If it isn't Theo making the Zazubean chocolate, then I don't know who is, and if it is Theo, then as far as I know, Zazubean doesn't own them, which fits right in with what Clay is saying.

Alan

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