Doing Good NH: Nate Morison of Vicuna Chocolate

This week I spoke with teen Nate Morison co-owner of Vicuña Chocolate in Peterborough, owner of 603 Property Care, a local landscaping business,  and past intern at Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce and supporter of local non profit Cornucopia Project dedicated to sustainable agriculture in the region.

Co-owners of Vicuna Chocolate

Nate’s family has been Peterbourough residents since in the mid 1700s and he loves the area. Nate hopes to boost the economy by having his local small businesses double proceeds this year and hiring local!

Nate said he doesn’t have too much free time these days but when he can get away he enjoys skiing at New Hampshire resorts, golfing locally and sailing on Dublin Lake!

Nate said, “Starting at age 9, I was mowing the grass, tending to animals, and painting the house. Neighbors quickly caught on to the fact that there was a young boy who could do yard work, and quickly I had the entire neighborhood under my belt for lawn care. This experience allowed me to discover my passion for business and also allowed me to discover how powerful local businesses are within a community. So when there was a local business for sale, I was eager to explore the possibilities of growing another local business to improve the economic vibrancy of our town.”

When Nate saw that a local fair trade, organic chocolate shop Vicuña was for sale he jumped at the opportunity to take it over! Today 90 percent of the world’s chocolate is made by child slave labor with most of this being farmed on the Western Coast of Africa. The demand for chocolate around the world is on the rise which means more children are robbed of their childhoods and it’s important to know where your chocolate comes from and who is growing the cocoa beans.

Vicuña cocoa beans are grown on fair trade plantations where farmers are paid a reasonable wage. The cocoa beans for the chocolate used at Vicuña are grown in Central and South America.

Nate said that the chocolate made in the production room of the business is of extremely high quality. The product and atmosphere of the business reflected the fact that the cocoa was sourced ethically, which is something that made the product stand out to him as a potential owner.

Vicuña Chocolate aims to produce the highest quality and most pure chocolate using only Fair Trade Certified and Certified Organic cocoa beans. They do this to ensure that all parties are treated properly in the production of the product and also to ensure the highest quality product for customers.

Here are five facts you should know:

  1. They  currently produce five different origins of chocolate from the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Bolivia, and Belize.
  2. If they made a batch of chocolate per week, they are capable of producing 30,000 chocolate bars per year with their current space and equipment.
  3. Each batch of chocolate yields about 400 bars and is made up of 45 lbs of cocoa nibs and 20 lbs of pure organic cane sugar
  4. Raw beans are shipped to them in 60 kg burlap sacks directly from the source.
  5. The top-selling chocolate bar is the Bolivia Sea Salt Bar, with Ginger Honey being a close second.

When asked why young professionals should give back to their communities Nate said: “Do not be afraid to go ahead and take action.. Too many individuals are deterred from pursuing their dreams by others and their own fears. There is often little to lose from going ahead and trying some new”

“Stop wishing, and start doing”

There are so many wonderful people and agencies making a difference in our own back yards! If you would like us to feature your non profit agency or know of an amazing NH professional giving back like Nate email me at doinggood@stayworkplay.org.

Until next time –Do Good NH!

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