When we first wrote about Askinosie Chocolate back in 2008, the young company was on the vanguard of bean-to-bar production. Since then, the direct-source chocolatier has grown into an industry icon and a prime model for responsible food production.
The last several months has seen a series of "CollaBARation" bars from Aksinosie, in which they team up with other notable members of the food community to create new flavors. A departure from their standard, purist approach, the new bars incorporate flavors that reflect the partnerships. The bars—we can attest—are delightful and reflect a new direction for the brand.
With four bars to date, the "CollaBARation" line includes a eye-opening java bar from Intelligentsia Coffee, a licorice-infused flavor with Sweden's Lakritsfabriken, a vanilla bean wonder through Zingerman's Deli and a creamy malted milk bar from Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream. More flavors are planned to drop throughout the year, and you can keep up by checking into the Askinosie online shop. The company is also working on a redesign of their packaging, replacing their makeshift look with a somewhat more sophisticated design.
Beyond selling chocolate, Askinosie takes sourcing seriously through a personal relationship and profit-sharing program with each of their farmers in the Philippines, Tanzania, Ecuador and Honduras. In their hometown of Springfield, MO, Askinosie runs the Chocolate University in partnership with Drury University. The school educates local children on the art and business of artisanal chocolate, equipping them with a valuable understanding of small business and social responsibility.