A Springfield Company Changes How Chocolate Gets Made From Bean to Bar

Askinosie Chocolate’s teammates strive to leave the world a better place than BC (before chocolate), one small, cacao-infused batch at a time.

The group’s award-winning chocolate is 100 percent traceable to its origins, made from some of the world’s best cocoa. Askinosie products are sold in US specialty shops and used in some of America’s top restaurants, bakeries, and coff†ee shops.

Founder and CEO Shawn Askinosie travels from Springfield to Ecuador, the Philippines, and Tanzania to work directly with cacao bean farmer-partners, even sharing company profits with them. “We’re honored to be recognized as a vanguard in the industry for quality, flavor, and our work with cacao farmers,” he says.

Shawn says all he first knew about chocolate was that he enjoyed eating it. While an attorney, he analyzed chocolate from botanical, historical, and cultural perspectives in 2005. “I studied how it’s made, and how to harness its ancient and mystical properties.”

Two years later, Shawn and his family started up their first piece of factory equipment, a 6,000-pound, antique, granite cacao melangeur (grinder) from Europe.

“The greatest opportunity and challenge has been weaving social responsibility into everything we do,” Shawn says. His experience inspired him to co-author a book with his daughter Lawren called Meaningful Work: A Quest To Do Great Business, Find Your Calling, and Feed Your Soul. The company hosts public tours at its manufacturing building on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. Private tours are available by arrangement for large groups. Find out more at Askinosie.com.