A visit to Askinosie Chocolate

Springfield, Missouri isn’t on many peoples’ top destinations list. However, take it from us – it’s worth the journey!

About a 3 hour-drive from Richard’s family in Kansas City, Springfield is home to a few exciting activities. In particular, we visited delicious and uber-local, Mother’s Brewery

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We explored the Rutledge-Wilson Farm Park, checking out awesome pigs, chickens, and tractors…

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And the highlight of the trip: a tour of Askinosie Chocolate, by Shawn Askinosie himself!

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We’ve been on many chocolate tours by now. And Shawn’s wasn’t the most explicit about how to actually make chocolate. It wasn’t the most comfortable, with about 40 people squeezed into his small space. And it wasn’t the most technically interesting, though his cocoa press is quite exciting (the first small-batch chocolate-maker to press his own cocoa butter and therefore make truly single-origin chocolate). But…

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Shawn’s tour was DEFINITELY the most inspiring. Askinosie Chocolate’s deep connection to the farmers, the communities around those farmers, and his local community in Springfield shines through in his work. He clearly starts with the why, and builds his business around that. He moved the entire tour group, including himself, to tears, telling us about his most recent visit to Tanzania with his Chocolate university high school students, where he taught his students that rather than going into this scenario trying to “help the people of Africa,” to simply receive the enthusiasm and welcome and sense of community from the local village. That incredible sensation would lead them to far more powerful ways of “helping,” in the future.

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In this holiday season, we give thanks for people like Shawn Askinosie who follow their heart. Keep doing what you’re doing!

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