We often forget that innovations, both large and small, can come as a result of mere accident or happenstance. Mark Twain once observed this very phenomenon. He, perhaps, made the point a but more poignant than I, fiercely stating, “Name the greatest of all inventors. Accident.”
Coco-Zen, a chocolate company on a mission to marry philosophies about interconnectedness and social responsibility with delicious, rich chocolates that are sure to please the palette, may have been birthed from this, just like so many other great ideas. Picture this: Joyce Kushner, the creator of the business, recently had her first baby. With time away from work to focus on her little one, she found herself looking for something to fill her time (short but pleasant 45 minutes breaks as the baby napped). A chocoholic at heart, she decided to start stewing up some sweets.
At first, she gave them to friends and family, but as the craze grew among her immediate group, she was prompted with the option of going back into business for others or starting something for herself; she chose the latter. As if by accident, the Coco-Zen was born.
And boy are we thankful.
With a handful of truffles in hand, I decided to explore the business a bit more. As I moved page to page, I was fortunate enough to have these truffles to keep me from over-salivating. Seriously – everything on Coco-Zen looked amazing! Every variety of truffle had something unique to bring to the table. From the samples I tried, I am a huge fan of the Chocolate Espresso Bean and Chocolate Covered Coconut. Seasonally, Joyce is now offering some berry infused truffles, with strawberries and raspberries being intriguingly introduced to dark chocolate.
The body products are just as tantalizing. The Chocolate Lotion hydrated my skin superbly and left it smelling delicious. Sara, the “Connector of Organic Souls”, took home the Chocolate Salt Scrub and Soap. To her, the scrub needed to be liberally applied, but even with the need for quantity, quality wasn’t lost. The soap easily produced suds that cleansed the skin, making it feel “tight and squeaky clean.” Be warned, though, the brown runoff from the soap bar is going to make you look dirtier than you really are!
Not only were the products appealing, but the extra features on the site were too. I loved the Flavor Guide for Coco-Zen and, even better, the unique use of quotes on Coco-Zen‘s website. They take inspirational quotes from legends and, well, chocolatize them! Here’s a sample:
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of Fair Trade chocolate.
To me, this set the tone of the business excellently.
Principles behind Coco-Zen
So what is that tone? A positive one bound with passion-driven moral fiber.
Coco-Zen was born with a love of chocolate and principles supporting organics, but it grew into something much more (and indeed it still grows today). Kushner eventually became a strong supporter of fair trade, social responsibility, and planetary awareness and conservation. The business now supports 1% for the Planet, has an active carbon offset meter, and is powered by renewable energy.
Indeed, Coco-Zen is proving that you can offer stellar products without compromising values. For this, and those delicious chocolates, I hope you go check out Coco-Zen today!