If you regularly read this site, you already know I was totally blown away by K’UL chocolate. A few days ago I received an email from Molly Nicaise, the CEO of Singing Rooster, the company that exports fermented cocoa beans from Haiti used in K’UL’s bars. Once I started reading about their mission I became even more enraptured. Not only is the chocolate divine, they are an über socially responsible company that is making a difference in the world. As I believe their work deserves more attention, I want to review Singing Rooster’s chocolate bars, and share a bit about the way they work their magic.
Singing Rooster was established in 2009. They partner with small-holder growers of coffee and chocolate to alleviate poverty in Haiti.
They serve as:
Agricultural and business consultants
Organizers of pre-harvest financing
Primary buyers of crops and products at premium prices
Product transformation: creating higher value items (like roasted coffee or chocolate bars)
Business guiders, developers, and cheerleaders
Equitably distributing economic gains
Creating new markets and special sales opportunities
Singing Rooster offers an opportunity to directly support vulnerable farmers, help reforest Haiti, and build rural economies.
Singing Rooster exceeds every aspect of fair trade: they pay farmers a minimum of $3/lb for coffee crops & return another .50 cents from sales.
They use proceeds to help farmers with agriculture improvements, business management, and replanting Haiti’s deforested lands with tens of thousands of coffee and cacao trees. Haiti gets a whopping 66% from every sale!
There is minimal job stability in Haiti with 70% of Haitians unemployed; sustainable jobs are required for autonomy. Haiti’s potential as a self-sustaining country rests, in part, with economic development: job creation, product improvement or design, and opening up international markets for Haitian goods like coffee, art, and chocolate.
Meaningful employment is one path to autonomy, self-sustainability and dignity.
According to The World Bank, economic growth in agriculture is more than twice as effective at reducing poverty as growth in other sectors of the economy. Coffee and cacao play important roles in Haiti’s rural economy: they provide income diversification. There are thousands of jobs in coffee and cacao, and new seedlings are environmentally essential for reforestation and soil management.
So far, Singing Rooster has put over $1,000,000 directly into the pockets of farmers.
Unlike the bulk of the world’s cacao, Haiti’s organic crops represent the top 3% of cacao produced on earth.
I sampled four of their bars, all of which were made with 70% Kafupbo single origin chocolate, a luscious Criollo/Trinitario hybrid.
Orange Crunch, a gustatory celebration of vibrant citrus flavor with roasted nibs, is complex, wildly textural, and full of super rich chocolate flavor. Each aspect of this bar compliments the others, creating a unique combination of sweet and slightly acidic flavors in a velvety chocolate base.
Lemon Ginger is a delicious blend of organic cocoa beans, organic cane sugar, organic cocoa butter, sunflower lecithin, and natural crystalized ginger with lemon oil. It’s positively addicting with the yin/yang play of sweet crunchy ginger and slightly tart lemon. Deep, dark, creamy Haitian chocolate rounds out the experience.
Pure Dark offers an unadulterated experience of that lovely smooth texture, hints of licorice, red fruits, and jasmine.
Cinnamon was just fantastic, but I love a little heat with my chocolate. The combination of chile and cinnamon was like a far more complex Red Hot with creamy dark chocolate. A real winner.
You can buy those, plus other chocolate bars, nibs, and coffee from their website: http://www.singingrooster.org.