Only true bean-to-bar maker of organic and Fair Trade Certified™ chocolate in the U.S. expands offerings to meet demand for popular Phinney line
Seattle, Wash. – (January 2008) – Theo Chocolate’s popular 3400 Phinney Bars are wowing consumers with tantalizing flavors and signature whimsical packaging, so the chocolate makers at Theo are adding two new bars to the line: HAZELNUT CRUNCH MILK CHOCOLATE and FIG FENNEL ALMOND DARK CHOCOLATE. Seattle-based Theo Chocolate (www.theochocolate.com) is the only true bean-to-bar maker of organic and Fair Trade Certified™ chocolate in the U.S., and one of only 12 companies that are “makers” not “melters,” meaning they transform the cocoa bean into the finished products they sell. Among this elite group, Theo is the only independently owned manufacturer dedicated to social and environmental responsibility.
HAZELNUT CRUNCH MILK CHOCOLATE features a 40 percent milk chocolate blend peppered with chunks of hazelnuts, crunchy sugar brittle and a tinge of salt that combines just the right sweet/salty flavor. FIG FENNEL ALMOND DARK CHOCOLATE’s vegan blend combines 65 percent dark chocolate with crunchy slivered almonds, sweet and chewy Calimyrna figs and dried fennel. Both bars are organic and Fair Trade Certified, retailing for $3.29 for a 2-oz. bar. The new Phinney bars are available now at www.theochocolate.com and nationally at select natural products stores, grocery stores and specialty retailers.
“Our unique Phinney flavors like Bread & Chocolate and Coconut Curry have been a huge hit with consumers, and the Fig Fennel has been one of our leading confection flavors, so it was a natural for us to expand the line and feature this flavor in a bar. We also were committed to creating another Phinney flavor to satisfy our Vegan customers,” says Debra Music, VP of Sales and Marketing for Theo Chocolate. “Our team approach to new flavor development capitalizes on all of our creativity and talent. Our entire staff is buzzing with excitement about our new flavors – our Phinney fans can look forward to lots more innovative flavors to come.”
Theo Chocolate features three lines: the ultra-premium 3-oz. Theo Origin bars, five Dark Chocolate varieties ranging in cacao content from a 91 percent Theo Limited Edition Venezuelan to a 65 percent Theo Madagascar; the innovatively-flavored 2-oz. 3400 Phinney Bars (named for the company’s factory address) in eight varieties of dark and milk chocolate such as Coconut Curry and Bread & Chocolate; and Theo Confections, comprised of 15 beautifully handcrafted ganache and praline varieties which are available only in select retail locations and via the company web site.
“Theo Chocolate is committed to making the best organic chocolate while supporting sustainable agriculture and improving the lives of farmers and families,” says founder Joseph Whinney. “Theo defines the intersection of true chocolate making with sustainable practices. We’re a ‘triple bottom line’ company: people, planet, profit.”
Theo Stands Apart from Competition
In true artisan fashion, Theo’s chocolate making process is tailored for each bean type according to the nuances and complexities of its flavor potential. Another key ingredient in achieving the highest quality in chocolate making is cocoa butter. Rather than having an impact on the flavor, cocoa butter brings “mouth feel” to chocolate. Most chocolate makers add vegetable oils or soy lecithin, cheaper substitutes for cocoa butter to achieve the desired effect. Theo never uses soy lecithin or other additives, relying strictly on pure, organic cocoa butter to enhance the texture and maintain the integrity of the finished chocolate. Theo Origin bars also contain beet sugar for a pure, clean sweetness that complements rather than interfering with the nuanced flavors of the beans. Beet sugar production also has less impact on the environment than sugar cane processing.
The company has only been making chocolate for less than two years, but already is garnering accolades. Theo won the gold for “Outstanding Chocolate” category for the NASFT Product Awards Competition held at the Fancy Food Show in New York City in July 2007. Food and Wine Magazine awarded Theo an Eco-Epicurean Award in their August 2007 issue for making the world “a better – and more delicious – place.” They were recently honored as a finalist in the 2007 Food Network Awards, chosen as one of three “Hot Chocolate” companies in the U.S. They were a finalist in 2007 in the Gallo Family Gold Medal Awards, and they placed two silver medals and one bronze in the 2006 London Academy of Chocolate Awards.
“We would like to change people’s perception of chocolate, and demystify chocolate-making,” adds Whinney. “Chocolate comes from the Cacao tree so it’s actually a crop, a real food, not a candy. It’s an integral part of the rainforest ecosystem. By buying not only organic but also Fair Trade Certified chocolate such as Theo, people can help save the planet, one bar at a time.”
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Theo Chocolate is the only true bean-to-bar maker of organic, Fair Trade Certified™ chocolate in the United States. Theo is uniquely positioned in the marketplace as the only independently owned, socially and environmentally responsible true chocolate maker. Theo controls and executes the entire manufacturing process, from bean sourcing through to the final molding process, demonstrating their innovation, passion for chocolate and mission to serve consumers and the environment every step of the way. In choosing Theo, people make a healthier choice for both their bodies and the planet. Theo Chocolate is a privately held company headquartered in Seattle’s Fremont District. Visitors are invited to attend a tour of the chocolate-making plant. For more information please visit www.theochocolate.com or call 206.632.5100.