Raise your hand if you consider yourself a 'chocoholic'. Yes, I am also raising my hand.

There's something so comforting about the often rich and velvety taste of chocolate. And, there are so many variations! There's dark chocolate, semi-sweet, milk, sea salt topped chocolate, chocolate with caramel...the list could go on for quite a while. And, yes, you can even use it as a topping on main courses. At lest, if you live in the Chocolat universe:

Doesn't that look delectable?

If you did raise your hand to classify yourself as a chocoholic, you'll be excited to hear this: there's a new chocolate brand that is vegan, dairy-free, ethically sourced, and made right here in Kalamazoo.

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As seen in the Facebook group Kalamazoo Foodie, Chocolate Thunder is small-batch chocolate that is apparently made by a WMU alumni, according to the post. Because this is a newer brand, there are only a few chocolate bar options. But, they sound, for lack of a better word, very fancy:

  • The Sambirano Valley which includes red berries, cashew, pepper, and cinnamon (and is organic)
  • The Dak Nam Vietnam which is made of raisin, marzipan, and cocoa
  • The Camino Verde is described as fudgy and floral with almond, blackberry and plum

All bars are 70% dark chocolate and range in price from $9 to $11. You can see more here.

Aside from offering gourmet, vegan-friendly chocolate...the thing that sets Chocolate Thunder apart is their process for acquiring the chocolate used in their products.

As pointed out on Chocolate Thunder's website, about 70% of the world's cocoa supply comes from Ghana and other West African countries. Unfortunately, in recent years, journalists have exposed child labor used on cocoa farms and, in some cases, child slavery. Read more here.

Chocolate Thunder, on the other hand, works with a single supplier who works directly with cocoa farmers only if they pay a fair wage and follow fair labor practices.

If you're interested in purchasing a Chocolate Thunder bar, you won't be able to find it in stores just yet. But, you can order directly from their website which advertises "local delivery and pickup in Kalamazoo." As well, you can learn more about their process and practice for creating and maintaining an ethical brand, contact them, and even subscribe for 20% off here.

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