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A Cider Caramel Celebration!

Posted on December 3, 2013 12:01 PM by Meghan

We are hosting a delicious event this coming Saturday celebrating our collaboration with Citizen Cider and Happy Valley Orchard for the new Apple Cider Caramel—and you are invited!

Come have a taste of these luscious new caramels, it will remind you of biting into an orchard-fresh apple dipped in slow-cooked caramel and then drenched in milk chocolate.  A classic taste of Vermont!

We’ll have tastings of the cider caramels, Citizen Cider’s Unified Press, sweet apple cider for kids, hot mulled cider, our famous caramel apples, Happy Valley Orchard apple syrup and music by none other than the Cider House Boys.  We told you it’s going to be a celebration!

Where: Factory Store & Café, 750 Pine Street, Burlington
When: Saturday, December 7, 2-5pm

Come join us!

 


It’s time to Deck the Halls….with chocolate!

Posted on November 26, 2013 11:08 AM by Meghan

 

You can’t have good cheer without some great chocolate so come celebrate the holidays with us at one of our three retail stores – Church St and Pine St in Burlington and Route 100 in Waterbury.  From chocolate gift baskets and hot chocolate tins to truffles, stocking stuffers, and santas, our chocolates are the perfect gift for family, friends, and colleagues.  It’s just the touch of magic your holidays are looking for!

 

65 Church Street
Church Street Marketplace
Burlington, VT
802-862-5185
Mon-Thu: 10:00am-7:00pm
Fri-Sat: 10:00am-9:00pm
Sun: 11:00am-6:00pm

750 Pine Street
Burlington, VT
802-864-1807
Mon-Sat:  9:00am-6:00pm
Sunday: 12:00-5:00pm

Route 100
Cabot Annex
Waterbury Center, VT
802-241-4150
9:00am-6:00pm daily


Did someone say free Hot Chocolate Tasting?

Posted on November 25, 2013 11:34 AM by Meghan

Here at Lake Champlain Chocolates, we know how to kick off the holiday season.  You will find no Black Friday craziness here.   In fact, our stores might be the best place to escape all the holiday frenzy.

On Saturday, November 30, from 12-4pm our Pine Street store will be sampling four (yes, four!) different flavors of our delicious hot chocolate.  It’s become something of a tradition on the Saturday after Thanksgiving and it’s the perfect way to kick off the holiday in a civilized and soul-southing way!  Who doesn’t need a little soul-southing this time of year?

We’ll be offering Traditional, Peppermint, Spicy Aztec and Old World for your tasting pleasure.  Come by with your friends and enjoy a sip or two!  Trust us; you’ll be happy you did.  


 


Gobble Up Delicious Deals!

Posted on November 14, 2013 10:51 AM by Amy Lipsitz

Our three retail stores are having sweet deals on all kinds of gourmet chocolate treats including chocolate turkeys, caramels and truffles. It’s the perfect time to stock up on holiday gifts, stocking stuffers and more!

LCC Retail Stores

750 Pine Street
Burlington, VT
Monday-Saturday 9-6pm
Sunday 11-5pm
802-864-1807

65 Church Street
Burlington, VT
Monday-Thursday 10-8pm
Friday-Saturday 10-9pm
Sunday 11-6pm
802-862-5185

Route 100 – Cabot Annex
Waterbury, VT
Monday-Sunday 9-6pm
802-241-4150


Last year, craft cider was making a name for itself in Vermont. We picked up a bottle of Citizen Cider Unified Press and after a few sips found ourselves wondering how we could incorporate that delicious apple flavor into our caramels. The answer was to boil down apple pressings from Happy Valley Orchard, where Citizen Cider get their apples, and create our own apple syrup. We blended this delicious syrup with our slow-cooked caramel and added a splash of cider then coated it all in 34% milk chocolate. That is how this wonderful partnership began and these caramels came to life.

With one bite you'll be reminded of a chocoalte caramel covered apple, only better! These Apple Cider Caramels are available in our three retail stores and online now. 

Because our apple syrup is only produced two times a year these caramels are in limited supply and high demand. Don’t miss your chance to taste a unique Vermont chocolate!


Move over Martha Stewart. 

Emily McCracken, Lake Champlain Chocolates’ resident artist and chocolate sculptress extraordinaire, will be sharing her talents next Saturday November 16 at 2pm at our Factory Store and Café located at 750 Pine Street.

Emily will show you how to make handcrafted chocolate treats like these pilgrim hats using simple household items.  This is your chance to learn how to dress up your Thanksgiving table and really impress your guests!

This event is free and no registration is required.  We recommend you arrive early as seating is limited.  Sit back and watch how you can expand your dessert repertoire, sculpt with chocolate and create delicious and distinctive Thanksgiving-themed chocolates.

See you there!


Fair Trade First Hand

Posted on October 18, 2013 8:44 AM by Amy Lipsitz

Our Director of Sales, Allyson Myers, travelled to the Dominican Republic with Fair Trade USA this week for the World Cocoa Foundation meeting. On her trip she attended a Fair Trade Farm Tour and saw firsthand how fair trade dollars impact cocoa communities.  

Does Fair Trade really make an impact in the lives of farmers?

YES!  Before I saw the results of Fair Trade efforts firsthand in the Dominican Republic, I wasn’t sure how much (or little) impact fair trade really had. The Fair Trade price premiums are paid to the farmer cooperative, not to the individual farmers. Then the cooperative board solicits proposals from the coop farmers (10,000 of them in total!) and considers different ways to spend the fair trade premiums at year end.  The value of the fair trade premiums for a year is $1-2 million annually for the Conocado Coop, which has a huge impact on the community. 

I visited a school in near the Conocado Coop that previously didn’t have adequate space for 300 students and the roof leaked when it rained.  With Fair Trade premium dollars, the community was able to build additional classrooms and reinvest in their community by educating the youth.

I also visited a Mulit-Use Community Center and Computer Center that were built with Fair Trade premium dollars.  The computer center gives children a place to learn and use technology.  Classes are held in the mornings and afternoons, with different children attending each session. The building also included a central multi-purpose room where the coop and community members come together for meetings and functions.

Cocoa growing regions are far from Vermont. What do Vermont & the DR have in common?

Both VT and the DR have strong agriculture roots and communities.  Encouraging young people to stay in farming is a challenge; the pay is low and the work is hard.  The Agriculture Ministry of the DR is working hard to make cocoa farming an attractive livelihood and encourage youth to get into farming.  We seesimilar efforts here in our state, trying to retain young people after graduation. Both Vermont and the DR have strong dairy industries and just as many of

Vermont’s dairy farms are organized into coops so are many of the DR’s cocoa farms.

Does Fair Trade do enough to transform the challenges facing our industry?

No, while Fair Trade makes an impactful difference with price premiums and fair labor practices, there is still much more work to be done in order to alleviate poverty.   I visited with a farm family at their home and asked them, “How much more income would you need in order to make farming attractive to your children, rather than them choosing other occupations in the cities?”  They told me that they would need about double the current income they receive. Food insecurity, education, fair wages, and fair labor practices all must be addressed.   Erradicating poverty is a slow process and Fair Trade demonstrates that measurable results are possible.

Fair Trade dollars are making huge impacts in cocoa communities and beyond but there is still work to be done! Spread the word about fair trade via #befair and prove how fair you are here: http://befair.org/


Chocotoberfest

Posted on October 17, 2013 2:31 PM by Meghan

October is the time of year we come together to share the harvest, carve some pumpkins and celebrate CHOCOLATE

Join us for Chocotoberfest— four wonderful days of special chocolate events from October 24-27.  Enjoy sweet deals on chocolate caramels, truffles, and hot chocolate.

And there’s more….on Saturday, October 26 from 12-4pm at 750 Pine Street, join us for a free Fair Trade hot chocolate tasting to celebrate Fair Trade month.  We’ll have a flight of four hot chocolates- Organic, Mocha, Spicy Aztec and Chai- delicious hot chocolate you can feel good about drinking. 

LCC is proud to carry the Fair Trade Certified label on our full line of hot chocolates.  Stop by one of our three retail stores- Church St and Pine St in Burlington and Route 100 in Waterbury- to learn about our Fair Trade products and how they improve the lives of farming families in cocoa growing regions.

Don’t miss one of the sweetest events of the fall!


Recipes You Can Feel Good About

Posted on October 3, 2013 11:59 AM by Amy Lipsitz

October is Fair Trade month! Fair Trade Month aims to raise awareness of why fair trade is important, and promote buying and using socially and commercially sustainable, fair trade products. Our selection of Fair Trade Chocolate products is not only great for snacking and drinking but baking and drizzling, too! Here are a few ways we like to use our Organic Fair Trade Unsweetened Cocoa and our Organic Fair Trade Dark Chocolate Bar. 

 

 

The Ultimate Chocolate Cake

 

Called the “Ultimate Chocolate Cake” for good reason, this cake is an explosion of chocolate delight! Made with our Fair Trade Unsweetened Cocoa, you can feel good about eating it knowing the ingredients and farmers were treated with care…now that’s having your cake and eating it too!

Mocha Buttercream Frosting

For coffee-lovers there is no better combination than mocha buttercream frosting slathered on a piece of the Ultimate Chocolate Cake. Use Fair Trade coffee for a double dose of goodness!

 

Chocolate Fondue

Melt down our Fair Trade Dark Chocolate with other delicious ingredients and start dipping! Our favorites are strawberries, homemade marshmallows and pound cake.  

 

Hot Fudge Sauce

Take your dessert to the next level by drizzling this rich, decadent hot fudge sauce, made with our Fair Trade Unsweetened Cocoa, all over it!

 

The fun doesn’t stop here; check out more delicious fair trade recipes, and be sure to celebrate Fair Trade with us all month long on Twitter via #befair!


Happy International Chocolate Day!

Posted on September 13, 2013 9:35 AM by Amy Lipsitz

September 13 is International Chocolate Day, and the perfect time to share some highlights and stories from our cocoa-growing communities.  

Blue Bandana Guatemala Bar 70%
Eric, Blue Bandana’s sole chocolate maker, has worked closely with the FundaLachua organization in northwestern Alta Verapaz, Guatemala over the past 2 years to support quality improvements and organic practices in the indigenous Q’eqchi’ Maya communities. Visits to the farms, as well as field training, enhanced producer skills and elevated the quality of the harvest.  The progress was significant enough that FundaLachua made its first export on June 25, 2013! A direct trade agreement exported 6MT of Lachua cacao to Blue Bandana Chocolate Maker in Vermont. It will be another rewarding part of the journey for Eric to roast these beans and hand deliver chocolate bars to the producers during his next trip in the spring of 2014.


Blue Bandana Madagascar Bar 70%  and Blue Bandana Madagascar Wild Pepper Bar 70%
Eric has sourced Madagascar beans looking for high quality post-harvest processing, unique flavor characteristics, and sustainable growing practices.  In this quest, Eric developed a friendship with a Madagascar cocoa supplier, Bertil Akesson, who produces some of the world’s highest quality, fine flavor cocoa using organic practices.


Through this friendship, Eric discovered Bertil is a source for the wild voatsiperifery peppercorns that grow on the northeastern coast of Madagascar. Only the young shoots at the very top produce fruits (“voa”), which are handpicked by villagers from the east coast of the island.  It seemed only natural to blend this Madagascar 70% dark chocolate with a wild pepper harvested on the very same island.  A 2013 Good Food Awards Finalist, the Madagascar Wild Pepper bar remains a favorite among those with an appetite for exploration.

Peruvian Dark Chocolate Bar  and  Cherries & Chocolate Bar
Our Peruvian organic dark chocolate bars are crafted from single-origin cocoa grown in the remote Apurimac Valley, a region now experiencing a cocoa-farming renaissance.   Collaboration and farm support has improved the cocoa tradition in this farming area, increasing yield and quality.  Direct buyer partnerships and price premiums keep small growers safe from market risk, allowing them to focus on what they do best — producing some of the most exquisite cocoa in the world.  This distinctive chocolate is tempting more and more LCC fans to try it every day – we’re excited to see these newly launched bars already achieve ‘best-seller status’!


Happy International Chocolate Day everyone! We hope you take the time to celebrate with some delicious chocolate from around the world.