Creating Impactful Projects through Chocolate

Design Thinking Workshop between Chefs and Quito Food Bank

All around the world, 1300 million tons of food are wasted annually. In response to this problematic, the Quito Food Bank (QFB) aims to create alliances with the private sector, to decrease and eventually eradicate this situation. For República del Cacao it is important to make these types of actions visible, in order to generate alliances that will strengthen the development and vision of a sustainable business. Because of this, we work alongside the Quito Food Bank for the development of social entrepreneurship projects through gastronomy. The projects consist in the donation of chocolate, with the purpose of empower the Food Bank’s beneficiaries through workshops given by República del Cacao’s allied chefs. To this date, the project has donated 1300 kg of chocolate to the organization, thanks to which more the 12.189 people from 120 foundations that form part of the Food Bank have been benefited.

A percentage of this donation is designated to the chocolate and pastry workshops of the project, where our allied chefs share their abilities with different beneficiaries from the Quito Food Bank. During the first phase of the project we worked with “Las Reinas Pepiadas” organization. They support Venezuelan migrant women in vulnerability situations through gastronomic entrepreneurship. 

The project was divided in two phases. The first one consisted of a Design Thinking Workshop, where our Executive Chef, Andrea López, and our Sustainable Business Manager, Magdalena Crespo, got the chance to meet the women from “Las Reinas Pepiadas” organization, in order to develop a gastronomic workshop model that would be adapted to their social and economic context. What is more, this space became a place for sharing life stories of culture and the Venezuelan history, through which it became clear that their gastronomy was what helped them maintain a connection with their family despite distance.

 

 

With this valuable information, the second phase of the project was developed: a pastry and chocolate workshop. Its training model became much more than a space for sharing knowledge, and turned into a place for women empowerment, life lessons, culture and gastronomy with purpose. Among the recipes that were developed during this workshop, we can find the following creations: mousse cup made with 40% chocolate and crumble dough, granola bars with 74% chocolate, brownie with nuts and 56% coverage, among others. Andrea López shares the following about her experience in this workshop: “The essence of cooking is not only to execute techniques perfectly, but also to share this knowledge with more people. Through this workshop, we created a connection that goes beyond cooking a brownie or a cookie with chocolate. We gave these women a useful tool for becoming entrepreneurs and help their families with this.”

 

 

This initiative is an ongoing process. Its final objective is to develop opportunities for vulnerability groups through gastronomic entrepreneurship, the implementation of good chocolate management practices, innovation and effective product management models.   

 

 


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