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The FareTrade

The Trade

Joe Whinney

Joe Whinney | Theo Chocolate

Who doesn't love chocolate? Certainly not Joe Whinney of Theo Chocolate! Working out of his workshop in Seattle, WA, Joe sources cocoa beans from Central America + Africa, bringing the best, unadulterated chocolate flavors to America.

What Inspired You To Start Your Company?

Joe has worked in the cocoa industry for years, traveling and working in Central America and Africa.  Joe saw a need to bring organic and Fair Trade cocoa into the US to better the lives of cocoa farmers, and the communities they live in, by paying a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work.  He pioneered bringing organic cocoa beans into the US.  The idea that everything is interconnected- people and places- really drives Theo’s values and process.  


Tell us about your products.

We make mind-bendingly delicious chocolate!  All of our products are Fair Trade and Organic certified, and most are soy-free and Kosher certified as well.  We take beans that have been farmed in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Peru, and Panama, and create delicious, artisan chocolate all in our factory right in Seattle. 


What Does Being A Small-Batch “Artisan” Mean To You? 

It means that we bring the same high level of care to every step of the process.  Because we have such great visibility on every step (even at origin) we can guarantee that every ingredient that goes into each bar is as special as the beans themselves.


What is your favorite small-batch treat?

We all snack constantly on our hand-made caramels.  Those babies are hand-made in big copper pots, are hand-decorated, hand-inspected, and hand-packed!  


What Products Are You Working On Now?

We’re always working on lots of new things- currently in the works is an expansion of home baking products- like our new 4oz 70% and 85% Baking Bars, and our Theo Cookbook!