Interviews

Published on April 20th, 2019 | by Darren Paltrowitz

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Divine Chocolate’s Troy Pearley On The New Organic Line, Being A Certified B Corporation & More

Divine Chocolate is the only Fairtrade chocolate company in the world owned by cocoa farmers. The company launched a new organic line last month, Divine’s first organic line, which also marks the first time Divine has sourced cocoa from CECAQ-11, a co-operative of farmers on the island of São Tomé as located off the coast of West Africa. Historically known as “Chocolate Island,” São Tomé is where some of the world’s finest cocoa originates, and this new organic line from Divine Chocolate is made with a higher cocoa content while also certified organic by the USDA, Non-GMO Project Verified and vegan.

Also a Certified B Corporation, Divine Chocolate is among the leaders of the global movement of people using business as a force for good. A “B Corp Certification” doesn’t just evaluate a company’s single product or service, rather it also assesses the overall, long-term positive impact of the company that stands behind it. “B Corps” ultimately meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability, while also aspiring to use the power of markets to solve major social and environmental problems.

I spoke more with Troy Pearley, Divine’s Executive Vice President, about Divine Chocolate’s social mission and other areas related to the Washington D.C.-based company. The earlier-mentioned organic line from Divine is currently for sale through its website, while it will also be available in retail stores as of May 1st. More on Divine Chocolate can be found online at DivineChocolate.com.

How did you wind up in the chocolate world?

Troy Pearley: I was approached by a headhunter while working at Odwalla in New York City about an opportunity to work for Ghirardelli. The opportunity paid more money and provided a better career path so I pursued the job and landed it.

What is a typical day like for you in working with Divine Chocolate?

Troy Pearley: A typical day at Divine Chocolate is checking in with my department managers to ensure everything is moving as planned. I may have to catch a flight for a customer call or the train into D.C. to meet with the Team. Sometimes I’m on the phone with our parent company in London discussing sales, spending and future plans. Everyday I look at our social media activity and provide marketing with input. The same goes for sales I check our current sales versus our planned sales.

What do you think makes Divine Chocolate different from other fine chocolates?

Troy Pearley: Divine Chocolate is different from other premium chocolate because Ghanaian farmers who produce our cocoa that the chocolate is made from own 44 percent of the company. It’s also different because we are a B Corp working to make positive social change daily primarily by making the work environment and world a better place.

Do you have a favorite of the Divine Chocolate varieties available?

Troy Pearley: The White Strawberry Bar is my favorite because it taste like a milkshake.

What is coming up for Divine in the coming months?

Troy Pearley: We are in the process of launching an organic bar line from São Tomé with a low sugar count. We will also launch some innovative snacking items in the Fall that are low in calories and taste great! Both should be well-received in the marketplace.

When not busy with Divine Chocolate, how do you like to spend your free time?

Troy Pearley: I spend my free time with my family or in my basement spinning hip-hop. I love the classic 90’s and early 2000 stuff.

What was the last concert you attended for fun?

Troy Pearley: My wife and I attended the Beyoncé concert at MetLife Stadium a few months ago. We had great seats and the concert was great.

Do you have a favorite album of 2018?

Troy Pearley: My favorite album in 2018 was: Styles P’s Dime Bag. It was simply dope hip-hop music.

Finally, Troy, any last words for the kids?

Troy Pearley: Be unapologetically yourself. Respect others by treating them the way you want to be treated. Listen so that you can learn and out work the competition because everyone has some type of talent.


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About the Author

Darren Paltrowitz is a New York resident (and Long Island native) with over 15 years of entertainment industry experience. He began working around the music business as a teenager, interning for the manager of his favorite band Superdrag. In the years following, he has worked with a wide array of artists including OK Go, They Might Be Giants, Mike Viola, Tracy Bonham, Loudness, Rachael Yamagata, and Amanda Palmer.Darren's writing has appeared in dozens of outlets including the New York Daily News, Inquisitr, The Daily Meal, The Hype Magazine, All Music Guide, Guitar World, TheStreet.com, Format Magazine, Businessweek, The Improper, the L.A. Times, and the Jewish Journal. He is a member of the SATW and the IFWTWA organizations as a food and travel writer.Darren is also the host the recently-launched "Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz" podcast, as co-produced with PureGrainAudio.



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