One of Anna's greatest strengths is bringing the right people into the Cocomira family. Without her team behind her Anna knows Cocomira wouldn't be what it is today. "Each batch of our chocolate is made with diligence, dedication and a love of chocolate by our incredible Cocomira staff. We work together collaboratively to find the best ingredients, the most delicious flavour profiles and the perfect process for making our product."
Anna – Anna started Cocomira out of the kitchen in her home over twelve years ago. When her passion for making gourmet confections for friends and family was paired with her business savvy, Cocomira was born. It helped that Anna is a foodie with a background in art and design (in her past life she was a Creative Director!) lending both the drive to make the highest quality chocolate and a desire to create a beautiful product.
When not at work, you can find Anna in a local restaurant trying new food or out meeting other entrepreneurs in her continuous quest for more knowledge. When asked, Anna will tell you that her favourite flavour is Maple but looks pained that you are making her decide between all of her “babies”!
Betty – Betty has the most exciting job title at Cocomira - International Sales. Betty’s role has her jet-setting across the world introducing new countries to Cocomira’s chocolate. Betty’s secret to selling Cocomira is to have a prospective client try some of the mouth-watering chocolate. After that she says the product sells itself, making it a very fun product to work with. Betty has taken Cocomira as far as Japan and the United Arab Emirates. In her spare time, Betty says her “work is her hobby” and likes to study international markets, choosing a different market to focus on each year. Talk about dedication to the job!
Daniela – Daniela has been with Cocomira since the very beginning, working alongside Anna in her kitchen. Her favourite flavour is Cocomira’s first flavour, Hazelnut, in part because of the taste but also because of the history they share together. When not at work, Daniela spends time with her two young daughters doing crafts and gardening. The same love of watching things grow comes into her work at Cocomira; Daniela’s favourite part of the chocolate making process is spreading the chocolate, creating the foundation for the rest of the delicious ingredients.
Ewa – When Ewa was looking for a new career she wanted to work for a company where everyone genuinely cares about the product. When she started at Cocomira, Ewa knew she had found exactly what she was looking for! Ewa excels in organization and business process and is one of the people responsible for keeping Cocomira in order. Ewa doesn’t hesitate for even a second when you ask her what her favourite flavour is – Pistachio wins hands down. Ewa has two children and a dog who keep her outdoors and on the move when she is not on the move at work.
It takes a lot of different people to make really good chocolate: growers, farmers, producers, workers. We’ve always worked closely with our partners to make sure we make the best chocolate possible. And whenever we can, we use local suppliers, because we want as much ‘Canada’ inside our product as we can manage.
Ontario Maple Syrup
Gibbon's Family Farm Maple Syrup
Gibbon’s Family Farm, located just west of Kingston, Ontario, makes maple syrup using time tested traditional methods, but with modern equipment. Bill Gibbons and his daughter Sarah Gibbons manage over 4,500 taps spread over 100 acres of maple bush. Each spring at the very end of the season, they make ‘Grade A Very Dark Strong Flavor’ maple syrup - which has an intense maple flavor - and we buy the whole batch. Their maple syrup is what makes our Maple Crunch taste so good.
We use only Ontario butter in our toffee and lots of it. Butter is at the heart of what we do. When you take a bite of our chocolate and you hear the crunch of our toffee, that’s the sound of Ontario butter - hard at work.
West Coast Sea Salt
Vancouver Island Salt Company
The award winning salt in our Peanut Butter Crunch comes from the cold, clear waters off Vancouver Island in British Columbia. Created by Vancouver Island Salt Co, and helmed by Andrew Shepherd, their products are lovingly created from the happy harmony of Mother Nature, the tides, patient harvesting and artisanal craftsmanship. The balanced saltiness and hint of minerals create a memorable ‘salty sweet’ treat.
Over the years, we’ve evolved three kinds of giving back: the first is global, by sponsoring a child in a coffee growing region of the world; the second is regional, by supporting a charity in our city and the third is local, by supporting a youth shelter that’s just 15 minutes’ drive from Cocomira’s factory.
Plan International Canada – Since chocolate is such an important part of the Cocomira story, we decided to help a child living in a cocoa producing region of the world. Through Plan International Canada, we are proud to sponsor Augustine, who is eleven-years old and lives with his parents, who are farmers in the Gomoa District in Ghana. Augustine attends a local school and is in good health. Plan works to improve the quality of basic education, to improve water, health and sanitation facilities, facilitate new agricultural practices and in general raise awareness of children’s rights. Visit Plan International Canada to find out about sponsoring a child.
Eat to the Beat – This year marks the 15th anniversary of Eat to the Beat, the annual fundraiser for Willow Breast Cancer Support Canada (Willow). Cocomira will be part of this event, and we encourage you to join us for a fun-filled evening of food, drinks, silent auction action and great music. Willow was founded in 1994, with a mission to provide targeted information and confidential support to anyone in Canada affected by breast cancer. Over the years, Eat to the Beat has raised over $3.7 million to support Willow. Visit www.eattothebeat.ca to buy tickets.
Youth Without Shelter – Anna is a big fan of this non-profit. “The more I learn about Youth without Shelter, the more impressed I am with the work they do.” This agency is an emergency residence and referral agency located in North Etobicoke that serves homeless youth ages 16-24. They operate a 50-bed residential program where residents get shelter, counselling, referrals, three daily meals and lots of care and support. Anna has prepared meals for the residents - including a yummy dessert; volunteered for ‘Tokens 4 Change’, a fundraiser that helps youth take transit free of charge and donated to ‘Cover Me Urban’, their annual fundraiser. Visit www.yws.on.ca to find out more.