Today, I bring you the final instalment of my day in New York. You remember, the one that saw me shopping, traipsing, gaining and losing two children, losing and gaining my wallet, and all before 3:30 in the afternoon? By the time my wallet was safely back in my shaking hands, I was ready for some serious calming and nurturing of the soul.
I settled for a trip to Whole Foods to restore my spirits.
Ah, Whole Foods. Land of raw vegan ice cream made with cashews and agave, where bison meat is sold alongside peanut butter granola and overpriced radishes, and where a girl can find soul-nourishment alongside the bodily nourishment offered by free samples of expensive foods.
You see, after I filled my basket with spelt gingersnap cookies (in the shape of hearts, awww), a few more chocolates, lupine beans (why don’t we have these in Australia? They are the shizzle), and White Chocolate Wonderful peanut butter, I started searching for a Whole Foods employee to help me find the other items on my mental checklist of desired delectables.
I spotted a worker loitering and snacking amongst a conglomeration of little tables stocked with samples, and (quite unintentionally, I promise you*) found myself pouncing upon him once he reached the chocolate sample table.
Yet when I tried to ask the worker my very important question about the location of chia seeds, I found myself forced away, utterly against my will, from such a hunt by the offer of a chocolate sample from the chocolate sample man.
And lo! The heavens opened up and choral singing was heard, for this was no mere chocolate sample man.
This was Tim McCollum, one of the founders of Madécasse chocolate. Madécasse is not only a bean-to-bar chocolate-maker but a bean-to-bar-at-the-source chocolate-maker. Whereas other chocolate companies source their cocoa from overseas but turn it into chocolate back home, Madécasse harvests, cures, and creates the chocolate entirely in Madagascar.
More on that, however, in an upcoming chocolate review post.
For the minute, I’d just like to remember with happiness the wonderful 45 minutes I spent chatting with Tim. We talked about everything from his company’s principles, origins, and goals to his trips to Madagascar, the awfulness of long-haul flights, our views of SweetRiot’s marketing, my blog, and our mutual desire to see Madécasse become available in Australia.
When it did become time for me to head off, Tim thanked me for letting him talk about his company and passion, and yet all I wanted to do was thank him for allowing me to do the same (except about chocolate in general, as I sadly do not own my own chocolate company). He was even generous enough to gift me with one-and-a-half bars of the chocolate. You can rest assured you’ll be hearing more about that soon, too.
Ah, the kindness of strangers. I could have asked for no more exciting, educational, thrilling and pleasurable end** to my tumultuous day than meeting Tim. So, universe? Thanks.
* No, seriously. I really didn’t notice at first.
** Well, there was also the part afterwards where I was about to get on the subway and remembered I’d forgotten to buy a power adaptor for my battery-dead laptop, so scampered off to a Radio Shack with my backpack/handbag/duffel bag/thousand grocery bags, spent about $20 on plugs that I didn’t need, and rambled on-and-on at the poor salesguy about my wallet story because I was still emotionally giddy… but mostly, the excitement of the day was over.