Chocolate Decadence: A Company with a Conscience
Chocolate Decadence is the company to contact when you need the perfect gift.
This small, efficient company was co-founded eight years ago in Eugene, Ore., by current owner Sam and another chocoholic partner. They figured there must be people like them in the world who eschewed dairy products yet appreciated fine chocolate. They were right, and the company has steadily grown every year.
Chocolate Decadence now offers a full range of real chocolates — unsweetened baking chocolate and chocolate drops as well as a wide range of sweet gift box varieties. They make almond bark and hazelnut bark by pouring melted dark chocolate into a flat baking pan; then, when the chocolate is still liquid, throwing in lots and lots of toasted nuts. When the mix solidifies, it looks similar to the bark of a tree; hence the name bark, which is delicious and fun to eat. Other choices include chocolate-coated fruits, organic pretzels, and delicious vegan truffles. The rich aroma of the Chocolate Espresso Buttons and Espresso Truffles comes from ground organic espresso coffee. The company’s newest products are the Chocolate-covered Trail Mix Bar and the Chocolate Truffle Bar.
The starting ingredients are chocolate, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, and vanilla. Cocoa butter is a technical term for a physical state of cocoa; the cocoa butter in the chocolate does not contain butter or any other form of dairy product.
Not only are these chocolates delicious, but according to recent scientific research, they even have health benefits. Dark chocolate lowers cholesterol and it boosts the immune system, thus helping to prevent illnesses, because the cocoa bean contains many antioxidants along with iron, phosphorus, and other natural compounds. As the Chocolate Decadence site says, chocolate has more antioxidants than green tea; and it is the second highest source of magnesium among all foods. Only seaweed has more.
The prices are slightly higher than the cost of commonly-sold chocolate gift boxes. But the cost is fair, because the quality of the product is high, and your purchase from Chocolate Decadence helps to support an all-vegan company.
It’s a company that respects human workers too. As many of our readers know, major media such as the BBC have cited many of the large chocolate companies for buying from cocoa producers who rely on poverty-stricken children, as young as six or seven, who are beaten and forced to work for little or no wages on the Ivory Coast.  When purchasing the ingredients for its products, Chocolate Decadence does business exclusively with wholesalers who embrace fair trade practices. So those who support this company promote thoughtful activism on a number of levels, at the same time selecting a gift that will impress the most serious chocolate connoisseur.
Richard at Chocolate Decadence will send gift items directly to the recipients with a card bearing the sender’s name at no extra cost. To place an order, phone 800-324-5018. If you prefer electronic shopping, visit http://www.chocolatedecadence.com.
- BBC, “Meeting the ‘chocolate slaves” - BBC News (13 June, 2002); available electronically at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/2042474.stm. According to the U.S. State Department, 70 percent of the world’s chocolate comes from the Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Cameroon, where child slave trafficking has been well documented.