3 Women Who Run Chocolate Brands With Purpose

Here are a handful of chocolate companies that address important issues while satisfying your sweet tooth.


In 2014, I co-founded Conscious Company Media, the first multimedia organization in the country that specifically focuses on purpose-driven business. As the publisher of Conscious Company Magazine and host of the World-Changing Women Podcast, I’ve literally interviewed and shared the stories of hundreds of the most prominent leaders in the conscious-business space. In 2017, I created the World-Changing Women’s Summit, an intimate gathering of mission-driven female*** entrepreneurs to talk all-things-conscious-business (we’re talking the good, bad, and the ugly), and had the privilege of choosing which incredible women graced our stage to tell their stories.  

All this to say: I know a thing or two about recognizing incredible female social entrepreneurs whose companies move the needle toward an economy, society, and planet that can better serve us all (not just the one-percenters) — and if you’re looking for some good news these days, let me tell you: there are a lot of inspiring entrepreneurs and leaders out there, and many of them are women and people of color.

In the age of COVID-19, it’s more important now than ever before to support social enterprises, purpose-driven entrepreneurs, and businesses that are founded and led by — as well as serve and support — under-represented and marginalized groups of people. Here are a handful of chocolate companies that address important issues while satisfying your sweet tooth.


 1. Wild Ophelia 

In the late 90s, chocolatier Katrina Markoff founded Vosges Haut-Chocolat and then later launched Wild Ophelia as its “spirited younger sister.” Wild Ophelia is a Fair Trade and non-GMO chocolate line made from ingredients supplied by farmers, artisans, and fellow female entrepreneurs. The company contributes a portion of sales to the Wild Ophelia accelerator program, which awards three grants per year.


2. Divine Chocolate

In 1993, the cocoa market in Ghana was liberalized, creating an opportunity for farmers to set up a cooperative. In 1997 the growing group voted to create a chocolate company, which eventually became Divine Chocolate — a British purveyor of Fair-Trade chocolate, co-owned by its members as well as investors like The Body Shop International and Christian Aid. Divine Chocolate holds board meetings in three countries, and its farmers own 44 percent of the company and receive 44 percent of the distributed profit. Sophi Tranchell, Divine Chocolate’s CEO, has been leading the company since 1999.


3. Seattle Chocolate

Seattle Chocolate Company began in 1991 in the Pacific Northwest, but after its original factory was destroyed by the 2001 Nisqually Earthquake, entrepreneur and Seattle Chocolate Company investor Jean Thompson stepped up as owner and CEO in 2002. In 2012 the woman-owned, woman-run company created a new chocolate brand, jcoco chocolate, with a mission to feed hungry families; with each purchase, jcoco donates fresh food to those in need and has donated almost 4 million servings to date.

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