Craft and Culture
Swork’s newest table guest boasts an unconventional history in woodcraft and boatbuilding—and to our taste, it’s no surprise that Dick Taylor’s crew of artisans has quickly become a pioneer of America’s craft chocolate trade.
Surveying the landscape of today’s Direct Trade movement, it’s hard not to notice a trend. From the coffee we drink to the fresh ingredients we put on our tables, and now even to the chocolate we use to treat ourselves, accountability is king. At Swork, we’ve known this for a long time: the best coffee in the world comes from the best roasters, who in turn deal directly with the best local growers whose consistent and thorough mastery produces beans of the highest caliber. This direct chain of accountability from grower to retailer is the cornerstone of Direct Trade, and part of why Swork takes such care in selecting suppliers who honor this spirit of excellence.
Dick Taylor’s Craft Chocolate, despite their humble origins, is but another partner of ours who grasps the importance of this concept at a time when the horizons for the movement could not be more bright. Of their six direct trade partners, hailing from Fiji, Belize, Madagascar, Guatemala, Brazil and the Soloman Islands, all adhere to the core tenets of consistency, quality, and accountability. Many have been working with Dick Taylor’s since 2010, and since then have shown as much passion for cacao cultivation as they have the real-world impact of their farming practices. The Maya Mountain Coop of Belize, for example, came together as a means of connecting several smallholder farms to American markets, and since partnering with Dick Taylor’s has seen mean farmer income increase by 20%, with local school attendance improving as well by an astonishing 85%.
This commitment to ethical sourcing and craft quality is what makes Dick Taylor’s an exciting and tasty new feature on Swork’s shelves. Our current assortment includes rich Madagascar Milk Chocolate, Black Fig, Brown Butter Nib with Sea Salt and 72% Belize Dark Chocolate, all of which you are welcome to drop by and try for yourself.