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Chicago company makes organic chocolate

April 23, 2009 12:19:04 PM PDT
The next time you feel the urge to indulge in a chocolate treat, you can ease any guilt by telling yourself -- your purchase is helping to save the planet. It's luxe chocolate that's made right here in Chicago and it's produced by a company that carries a green mission from its administration to its manufacturing.

This is a chocolate lovers paradise. Racks and rows of exotic candies fill this northwest side store known as Vosges Haut Chocolat. But the store's owner says this chic chocolate is not just good tasting. Much of it is also good for the earth. For Katrina Markoff, the greening of her company actually began at home.

"It all started about three years ago. I started buying all organic food. I changed my car to a hybrid and I started living my life more green and I looked at my company and I realized that I was a hypocrite," said Markoff.

Markoff started making changes in her stores and factory by incorporating recycling and other sustainable practices.

"We have a commitment that 90% of the things that we buy will meet our green oath of purchasing and what that is is that the ingredients will either be organic or sustainably made," Markoff explained. "The boxes and the packaging will all be recycled out of 100% recycled board."

But most notably, Markoff changed the source for some of her key ingredients. Now, even her products are green.

"We found a farm down in the Dominican Republic that is rainforest allianced and organic. What rainforest allianced really means is it's a sustainable agricultural system as well as a fair price for the farmers," she explained.

Vosges Haut Chocolat now offers seven different kinds of organic candy. Ron Tremaroli manages production. He explained, "We segregate all of our organics. They're separated from our regular, other products that we manufacture here. Everything is fully sanitized and cleaned for organic production."

The plant itself is also certified organic and is powered using 100% renewable energy.

Below is a list of Vosges Haut Chocolat locations:

Chicago

520 North Michigan Ave.

2nd Floor

312.644.9450


951 West Armitage Ave.

773.296.9866

Las Vegas


Forum Shops at Caesars Palace

3500 Las Vegas Blvd. South

Street Level

702.836.9866

New York


132 Spring Street

212.625.2929

1100 Madison Ave.

212.717.2929


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