You’re in luck because we are back with a joint post. This is Katelyn.
…and this is Brad! Happy to be back on the blog!
We’re here to tell you about our Saturday. We began with a chilly morning run. We’re on Day 10 of our Mile A Day Challenge.
I mean, you may be on day 10, but I’m definitely on day 13 or 14!
Uhh have you forgotten Wednesday? I believe a certain someone already skipped in the first week.
Ok, ok, maybe I skipped one day… but that was only because I was CLEANING the kitchen for you! …and the Best Husband Award goes to…
You, of course. OKAY. Onto the rest of our day.
After grabbing Panera with Brad’s dad, we headed down the street to Askinosie Chocolate.
I’ve always had a secret desire to be one of those kids on “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”. You know, the ones that are chosen to go on the magnificent tour, tempted with an offer from a scary stranger to divulge the secret chocolate formula, and then choose the path of light and inherit a chocolate fortune. Unfortunately, this is as close as I think I’ll get, but that’s okay!
Okaaaaaaaaayyyyyy…… Why don’t you tell the people a little bit about the company?
Askinosie Chocolate is owned and operated by Shawn Askinosie, a Springfield local. Shawn is an attorney-turned-chocolatier, and he has a pretty interesting story. After 20 years in the criminal defense business, he decided that he needed to start doing something that he was more passionate about. So he started grilling…then baking…then chocolate making!
Shawn himself gave us a tour. It was really cool to see his passion for his business. He travels all over the world making relationships with and building the trust of cocoa bean farmers in order to participate in fair-trade business. He pays them cash for their beans, then returns to share the profits with them at the end of the season.
Throughout the tour, Shawn and his employees walked us through each part of the bean roasting process. Each step of the way, he let us taste different parts of the bean. The picture above is of a piece of the bean residue known as “nibs”. Nasty little buggers, but these little bits of bean have tons of antioxidants and healthiness per tiny bite.
They specialize in dark chocolate, but also colla-bar-ate with other companies to make special items like dark chocolate licorice. Each variety was delicious, but my favorite was the white chocolate. They also sell hot chocolate mix and cocoa powder.
They not only bring in cocoa beans from all over the world, but they also ship their finished product from San Francisco to New York to Sweden and beyond.
They have even started selling a hazelnut spread (um… Nutella anyone?) made with hazelnuts from Washington. Trust me, it’s amazing.
…and crazy expensive.
Yes… Askinosie is pretty great, but their prices are a little steep for these newlyweds.
The reason being that Askinosie is a for-profit business. They take the profit and reinvest it not only into the community of Springfield, but each year they take part in a profit-sharing program with their farmers across the world. It’s one thing to provide help for these farmers, but it’s another to walk up to them, cash in hand, and pay them for their hard work.
Not only do the profits from Askinosie go to farmers in the Philipines, Tanzania, Ecuador, and Venezuela, Shawn Askinosie also has a heart of the community of Springfield. He has created several programs that benefit the local elementary schools in the area.
They’ve garnered quite the praise and accolades for their short, chocolate-covered career. Even Oprah has ranked Shawn and his gang as one of the top ten men who are changing the world!
In the end we decided to splurge on a white chocolate bar made from beans grown in the Philipines. I gave it an A+.
I gave it an infinity. As in, whatever is higher than an A. It’s that good.
The tour was a really cool opportunity to learn about the Askinosie business and how chocolate (one of my favorite foods) is made!
Next we decided to hit up one of the local flea markets where we found this treasure!
We have been searching for this very item since before we got married. One of my dearest passions is writing, (and Kate is becoming quite the writer herself), so I knew when we saw this typewriter for $15, we had to buy it. It’s still in great condition! Treasure!!
Then it was back to our humble home. My parents bought us this bookcase a couple of months ago. It’s huge, so it’s been difficult to find a way to get it down to Springfield. Brad’s dad was great enough to bring it this weekend, so we spent the next hour getting the stacks of books off our office floor and into their proper place in the bookcase!
So glad we finally got this set up!! Now we can reclaim our office, and actually get started… on, uh… reading these books…
All in all a good Saturday. We love the Christmas season!