This article first appeared in The Independent Newspaper
Five North Chocolate is a new chocolate snack that feels as good as it tastes. Each bite size piece is fair trade, vegan, and contains over 72 percent cocoa with a superfood twist: goji berries, pistachio sea salt, and cinnamon almond, with new flavors constantly being explored. Unlike commercial brands, which use sugar as their primary ingredient, this product promises to be 100 percent raw and organic. It is packaged in a re-sealable pouch.
“At Five North Chocolate, we’re committed to sourcing only the highest quality Fair Trade Certified cocoa from around the world to create a delicious chocolate snack that you can feel good about eating,” said Ben Conard, the company’s founder and CEO.
Two years ago, Conard partook in an entrepreneurial training program, VentureWorks at his alma mater, SUNY Geneseo. Together with four other students, he created a business plan and pitch for a healthy candy concept, a product that was ethical and convenient with additional health benefits. Thus, Five North Chocolate was born.
Then, late last year, things propelled forward. Ashley Heather, creator of i-Hamptons and The Spur, a new co-working space in Southampton, organized a “Shark Tank” style event on November 25, Rip Tide [Hamptons] $ink or $wim, where Five North Chocolate received $10,000. Since that time, Conard has been focused on diminishing company costs in order to provide optimal product for consumers, and on new packaging, which will be revealed mid-April.
The “five north” in Five North Chocolate refers to where two thirds of the world’s cocoa is grown, five degrees north of the equator, in the West African region. Recently, Conard was named one of the Top 10 Biggest Fair Trade Advocates in the World by Fair Trade International, holding first place in the United States. The company ensures fair pay and working conditions for its cocoa farmers, including in the West African region, where some farmers are impoverished due to non-Fair Trade practices.
“We want to show our customers the positive impact that their purchase can have on farmers and their communities thousands of miles away,” Conard noted.
Conard shares the message through selling Five North Chocolate at locations nationwide, including states such as Alabama, Colorado, Kentucky, and Washington.
He said, “When working with new accounts, our goal is to provide an amazing product that their customers will fall in love with. It’s a win-win collaboration and we are excited to be working with such great partners.”
Find Five North Chocolate at one of 20 locations across Long Island, including Cirillo’s Market in Amagansett and Shade Trees Nursery in Jamesport. Visit their website for a full list.