I discovered the Philadelphia artisanal chocolate company John & Kira's earlier this week on a visit to the Rittenhouse Square Farmers Market. I was invited by Philly Homegrown along with some other local food writers to tour the market. John Doyle, of John & Kira's, treated us to some chocolates and told us about his business.
John & Kira's buys many ingredients directly from farmers and growers that share the company's commitment to the environment and the community. When you visit the company's website, you'll find information about the farms and the growers of the various ingredients. The figs in the incredibly delicious and decadent Chocolate Figs are grown by a family run company in Spain dedicated to ecological and organic farming. The honey in the salted chocolate Caramel Bees comes from local bee farmers. The chocolate comes from certified slave-free plantations in France.
In addition to the boxes of chocolates that John & Kira's sells, the company also makes chocolate bars infused with herbs. These vegan, grown-up Urban Garden Bars are made with either mint or rosemary that is grown in urban gardens in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Five percent of the profits from these bars goes directly back to the gardens that supply the herbs to support the educational programs for inner city youths. The company currently works with these four urban gardens.
Common Good City Farm — Common Good City Farm is an urban farm and education center for low-income residents in Washington, D.C.
Teens 4 Good — Builds long term, working relationships with students from Philly high schools through a teen-run gardening and nutrition business.
The Village of Arts and Humanities — 12 arts parks and an after-school program for kids in North Philadelphia dedicated to community revitalization.
Urban Nutrition Initiative School Garden — Focusing on nutrition education, sustainable organic agriculture, youth entrepreneurship and beautification in Philadelphia.
I have one of the Mighty Mint bars that I've been treating myself to, little by little, for the past couple of days. The bars are sectioned off into 10 pieces, and they are so intense in flavor that one small piece is very satisfying. The mint in this bar is different than other mint-flavored chocolates you've probably had before. Fresh mint is infused into cocoa butter before being added to the bar. There's no doubt that it's real mint I'm tasting when I take a bite. It's a delightful treat.
I love what John & Kira's is doing with chocolates, urban outreach and the company commitment to environment and community. The company does the bulk of its business online and the chocolates make great gifts. (If you happen to have the responsibility of buying corporate holiday gifts, you really should check this company out.)
I also have to say a word about the packaging. The design draws you in. Even if I didn't know what was in the boxes pictured at the right, I would want to find out because the design and colors are so appealing.