The story behind Askinosie Chocolate, in Springfield, Missouri, is as complex as the flavors of the products. The small batch bean-to-bar chocolate factory has raised an eyebrow of the chocolate making industry. Owner Shawn Askinosie has brought an interesting twist to his relationship with customers and suppliers.
Time for a Change
We once visited a gentleman in Wyoming who was nicknamed ‘The Cowboy Chocolatier”. He picked up this moniker, because he retired from bronc riding to make truffles. He knew that if he stayed in his previous profession it would possibly shorten his lifespan. His story piqued our interest enough to make sure to add our visit to our Rocky Mountain Road Trip article. Imagine my surprise when I found another story just as interesting. Shawn Askinosie spent about 20 years practicing law as a defense attorney. He worked many high profile cases over his career. With these come the good and bad attention. It also brought the death threats, that comes along with this type of notoriety. Shawn decided he needed a change.
Becoming a chocolatier may not have seemed like a logical move, since he knew nothing about the task. He studied all aspects of chocolate from history to botany. Shawn experimented with recipes at home, and tested them on friends and family. Soon he hit upon the magic of making his chocolate from the bean. This would make him one of only a few using this method.
The Askinosie Chocolate Difference
Shawn has built Askinosie Chocolate on the principle of partnership. He travels to the farms where the beans are grown, where he meets each of the farmers. The company purchases from multiple continents to ensure the best supply of high quality ingredients. Shawn believes in an open book approach, so that every person in the supply chain understands their importance. By taking these extra steps, he has helped foster an atmosphere of worthwhile work. This engages everyone in understanding their role in the success of the venture. All of this leads to an exceptional level of dedication to quality.
All of this attention to detail has paid off for Askinosie Chocolate. They have received a variety of accolades and awards. While all of this notoriety is nice, the real reward comes from satisfied customers. They offer a wide range of products at their shop, and online. Gourmet bars, sipping chocolate, and even baking chocolate is available. They don’t limit their choices to just two or three. Sixteen different varieties of bars are sold, and each denotes the country of origin. For those wanting something unique, we would suggest the Dark Milk Chocolate with Black Licorice bar. The flavors blend so well, and make for an interesting combination.
Products That Make a Difference
Askinosie Chocolate also sells two items marketed as “Product of Change”. These are harvested and produced by the administration and PTA of local schools in Tanzania and the Philippines. The profits from the sale of these products is returned to the schools, and help provide lunch for about 1800 students a day. This small batch chocolate shop is finding new ways to make a big impact on our world. Check them out on your next visit to Springfield, Missouri.