Lake Champlain Chocolates Introduces New Approach to Making Chocolate
Blue Bandana Chocolate Maker launches nationwide at 2015 Winter Fancy Food Show
JAN 5, 2015 :: BURLINGTON, VT – Blue Bandana Chocolate Maker (BBCM), a new approach to making chocolate at Lake Champlain Chocolates (LCC), is making its national debut at the 2015 Winter Fancy Food Show, in Booth #440 of the Moscone Center, in San Francisco, Calif., from January 11-13, 2015.
Ellen Reed and Eric Lampman, the second generation of the family-owned company, are bringing a global perspective to Lake Champlain Chocolates. “Historically LCC has always focused on local — using Vermont ingredients, supporting our local communities. And we still do,” says Eric Lampman, Director of Innovation and Quality at LCC and creator of Blue Bandana Chocolate Maker. “But now, after thirty-one successful years of being in business, we have the tools and resources to engage with our global supply network in a more substantial way that allows us to have an impact on our supply chain.”
Blue Bandana Chocolate Maker came about from a desire to learn more about LCC’s supply chain. In 2009, Eric took a trip to Dominican Republic and experienced firsthand how cocoa was cultivated, harvested, fermented and dried. “This trip to the Dominican Republic encouraged us to participate in cocoa growing regions like we’ve never done before at LCC. Since 2012, we’ve committed our work to a network of cacao producing communities in Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, to bring greater value to the farmer and a new supply to our bean-to-bar line,” says Lampman.
Transparent in its sourcing, processing and message, BBCM works directly with the producers who grow great-tasting beans, and uses only cocoa beans and organic sugar. Chocolate makers roast, winnow, refine, and conche in a state of the art facility in Burlington, Vermont. The directly-traded line consists of three bars: 82% Madagascar, 82% Madagascar Wild Pepper and 75% Lachua Guatemala, with additional supply developments underway.
As part of LCC’s commitment to provide transparency to their customers, Eric and Ellen pursued and achieved Fair for Life Certification for the company. In addition, Eric has developed a partnership with cacao growers organized under the non-profit organization Fundalachua, in Alta Verpaz, Guatemala. “Fair for Life (FFL) requires traceability along the entire supply chain, encourages direct contact with producers and believes Fair Trade is about working with a marginalized group that doesn’t have access to the world market,” says Ellen Lampman, Purchasing Director for LCC. “Eric’s close communication with the farmers, regular visits to Guatemala and support of their community has had a high social impact that FFL values and recognizes.”
“In 2013, with the help of some incredibly motivated cacao farmers who are equally passionate about their regional ecosystems and their product quality, we purchased the first export of cacao direct from Fundalachua,” says Eric. “And the partnership continues to build. This is part of a long-term look at how we can set ourselves up for the future and integrate more traceability with our supply chain.”
LCC’s and BBCM’s investment in supporting these farmers has resulted in the formation of Cacao Verapaz, S.A. — a company that sources the best cacao from indigenous Maya and other remote cacao producers in the hills of Guatemala and connects the producers of this fine cacao with specialty chocolate makers in the U.S. and Europe. The 75% Lachua Guatemala bar is made from this first export of beans.
“Blue Bandana Chocolate Maker is a new dimension for Lake Champlain Chocolates,” says founder and President Jim Lampman. “It’s a priority for my children, Eric and Ellen, to have greater transparency in our supply chain. And to be directly invested in an origin community is a testament to their commitment to having an impact on the global community. Blue Bandana Chocolate Maker has the advantage of the history and support of the Lake Champlain Chocolates brand, with the fresh perspective, energy and innovation that comes with the younger generation. We’re thrilled to introduce Blue Bandana at this year’s show.”
To learn more and sample the three BBCM bars, meet the creator Eric Lampman, and see what Lake Champlain Chocolates has to offer, visit Booth 440 at the Winter Fancy Food Show, at the Moscone Center, in San Francisco, CA, from January 11-13, 2015. For further information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blue Bandana Chocolate Maker
Blue Bandana is an award-winning line of single-origin craft chocolate bars launched in 2012 by Eric Lampman, head of R&D at Lake Champlain Chocolates and son of founder Jim Lampman. Born from a desire to go deeper into the chocolate-making process, the microbatch chocolate bars are produced in Vermont using cocoa beans sourced directly from origin. Eric’s work with Blue Bandana involves forging one-on-one relationships with farmers at origin, reinvesting in communities through training and education, and sustaining a high level of quality from growers. His entire bean-to-bar production process can be seen by visitors to Lake Champlain Chocolates’ new culinary center, the South End Kitchen. Blue Bandana chocolate bars are available for purchase online at www.LakeChamplainChocolates.com.
About Lake Champlain Chocolates
A pioneer in the American chocolate movement, Lake Champlain Chocolates is a family-owned company located in Burlington, Vermont. In 1983, Jim Lampman declared he would create upscale American chocolates that would “rival the Belgians.” More than 30 years later, the Lampman family has done just that, by introducing European flavors and tastes using local, Vermont ingredients and by taking a craftsman’s approach to chocolate: creativity, patience and mastery. This level of care and craft leads to chocolates that win high praise, year after year, from customers and industry experts alike. As a Fair for Life – Social and Fair Trade Certified company, LCC uses fair trade chocolate and is committed to using only non-GMO ingredients. Lake Champlain Chocolates are hand made by people who are passionate about their work; products include their best-selling Signature chocolate bars, Five Star Bars, Chocolates of Vermont as well as caramels, gift assortments and gourmet hot chocolate and are available online, nationwide at specialty food and gift stores, such as Whole Foods Market, upscale hotels and inns, and at their four company-owned stores in Vermont.