Chocolate University has been underway for a  little over a month and we’ve been keeping busy!  Our students have been working hard to stay on timeline and to keep focused on the main ideas of our mission.  In order to better facilitate this work however, we’ve split up into groups with more specific tasks.  We now have a sourcing team which will be in charge of communicating with the farmers and getting samples so that we can move forward.  On a more technical scale, the logistics team is another group which will focus on planning our trip to Africa and getting the final batch of beans to the Askinosie factory.  Finally, our communication team will be working hard to make sure that the blog is updated and our outreach through facebook and twitter is constant.

One of the more obvious questions you may have is, “what country are the students working with?”  And to that, we don’t yet have a specific answer.  The students have narrowed the list to 11 countries they hope to communicate with and are now delving deeper into the research.  They’ll look for facts and statistics about the economies, history, geography, and culture of each country in addition to information about each country’s cocoa production.  Once this information has been gathered, they’ll whittle the list down to just three or four countries to contact so that we can ask for samples of their beans.

As we move closer to our final goal we hope to learn not only about the country we do decide to work with, but also about the African continent as a whole.  That’s where the “university” part of our title comes into play.  Our students are participating in a rare and unique opportunity and we take that very seriously.  We want to see them actively engaged in the process, but also developing and learning beyond the traditional classroom setting.

Our hope is that you will follow our blog and stay just as actively engaged as our students.  We’ll update you as we move forward with the selection of a country and the development of Askinosie Chocolate’s first African single-origin bar!