Thanks to an enthusiastic distributor, Springfield, Mo.-based Askinosie Chocolate’s products now will be available in Singapore. Trendspot, which has been distributing Askinoise Chocolate for more than a year, has opened an exclusive Askinosie Chocolate boutique in the city’s Great World City shopping center.
The boutique carries all the Askinosie Chocolate products and even displays some authentic items from the original Askinosie Chocolate store in Springfield. The boutique is not a franchise, but will be using the Askinosie Chocolate brand, and is the first Askinosie Chocolate store outside of the company’s retail storefront at the factory.
It was Benny Low, Trendspot’s owner, who approached Shawn Askinosie, founder and chocolate maker, with the idea of opening an Askinosie Chocolate boutique. As Low explains, he was really excited about being able to share “real dark chocolate” with the people of Singapore:
“Opening the Askinosie Chocolate boutique was just an ‘I have to do it’ sort of thing,” he says. “In Singapore, we are pampered … very few people know the difference between traceable single-origin and cocoa mass; very few people know there are poor cocoa farmers out there who are being exploited. But this chocolate is different - it’s the way dark chocolate should be. This is what I hope to share with chocolate lovers here: something of value and something meaningful.”
Shawn Askinosie travels to regions of Mexico and Ecuador to work directly with farmers and source cocoa beans for his chocolate. In addition, the company also shares a percentage of its profits with those farmers.