Fresh All Natural Chocolates from Vermont

New Vermont Chocolate Maker Announced Finalist for Good Food Awards

Blue Bandana Chocolate Maker celebrates 3 months of production

BURLINGTON, VTBlue Bandana Chocolate Maker has been named a finalist for the prestigious 2013 Good Food Awards. Founded and managed by Eric Lampman, Lake Champlain Chocolates’(LCC) 2nd generation, Blue Bandana represents a new approach to making chocolate at LCC. This bean-to-bar concept is built on the principles of quality, transparency, taste of place, and the craft of making chocolate, and features three hand-made bars: 70% Guatemalan Dark Chocolate, 70% Madagascar Dark Chocolate, and 70% Madagascar Wild Pepper Dark Chocolate. Only recently introduced to the Vermont community, the Madagascar Wild Pepper has piqued the interest of the industry’s leading sustainable food innovators with the Good Food Awards. Blue Bandana is a finalist listed among 13 other esteemed chocolate makers in the United States. 

“Blue Bandana is over two years in the making and has allowed me to completely immerse myself in all things cocoa, from understanding the origin, to the trial and error of developing my own creation process, to producing the final product,” says Lampman. “This past summer, I unveiled the final product and it was truly fulfilling to see that the chocolate making process really was an eye-opener for people. Chocolate is a careful balance of art and science. We’re at a very exciting time for chocolate makers across the nation.” 

Of the 1,366 entries that met the Good Food Awards’ criteria for demonstrating excellence in environmental and social responsibility, many listed “taste of place” as a driving force for the development of their brands and products. The influence of Lake Champlain Chocolates’ ongoing mission to incorporate local Vermont ingredients into their chocolate confections has inspired Blue Bandana to embrace the taste of place of cocoa producing regions. The Madagascar Wild Pepper showcases the unique fine flavor of cocoa grown in Madagascar, and is complemented by the wild voatsiperifery peppercorns picked from the east coast of the island.

 “Although Blue Bandana Chocolate Maker is most certainly a testament to the true expression of origin flavors, it is also about the nurturing of direct farmer relationships and combining those with American craftsmanship,” says father of Eric Lampman and founder of Lake Champlain Chocolates, Jim Lampman. 

Winners of the 2013 Good Food Awards will be announced in a 400-person ceremony at the San Francisco Ferry Building on January 18, 2013, followed by a Good Food Awards Marketplace on January 19. 

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Blue Bandana Chocolate Maker
Blue Bandana Chocolate Maker is a fresh approach to making chocolate at Lake Champlain Chocolates (LCC) founded on the principles of quality, transparency, taste of place, and the craft of making chocolate. Inspired by his first trip to a cocoa farm in 2009, founder Eric Lampman delved into the chocolate process and began experimenting with test batches to refine his technique. After experimenting with cocoa beans from six different countries, Lampman settled on three exceptional chocolates: Madagascar 70%, Guatemala 70% and Madagascar Wild Pepper. They are made from scratch using only cocoa beans, organic cocoa butter and organic cane sugar.  Each 2.3oz bar is a representation of Lampman’s personal mission to craft the finest chocolates while celebrating the unique taste of the earth native to each cacao’s landscape. The vegan chocolate bars are currently available at LCC’s three Vermont retail stores on the Church Street Marketplace and Pine Street in Burlington and on Route 100 in Waterbury Center.

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.”  Almost 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. Lake Champlain Chocolates are handmade by people who are passionate about their work; products include chocolate bars, as well as the best-selling Five Star Bars, truffles, caramels, gift assortments and gourmet hot chocolate and are sold online, nationwide at specialty food and gift stores, such as Whole Foods Market, upscale hotels and inns, and at their three company-owned stores in Vermont.

Good Food Awards
The Good Food Awards celebrate the kind of food we all want to eat: tasty, authentic and responsibly produced. For a long time, certifications for responsible food production and awards for superior taste have remained distinct—one honors social and environmental responsibility, while the other celebrates flavor. The Good Food Awards recognize that truly good food—the kind that brings people together and builds strong, healthy communities—contains all of these ingredients. Now in its third year, Good Food Awards will be given to winners in nine categories: beer, charcuterie, cheese, chocolate, coffee, confections, pickles, preserves and spirits. The Good Food Awards Seal, found on winning products, assures consumers they have found something exceptionally delicious that also supports sustainability and social good. The Good Food Awards Gold Seal marks the products of winners who have also obtained certified organic status while also leading in taste and social responsibility.

Seedling Projects
Seedling Projects, a California public benefit corporation, is led by Sarah Weiner and Dominic Phillips, who have united their diverse skills to support the sustainable food movement. Through focused events and strategic models, it engages the public in finding better ways to feed our communities. Find more information at: www.seedlingprojects.org.