Geri Stengel

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When Less Is More: A Guilt-Free Gift for Valentine's Day

Candy Without the Guilt
Are you searching for something sweet to give your sweetie? Give a treat that's as diet-friendly and socially responsible as it is tasty. Huh, you say! When did Vistas start pushing products? Bear with me while I explain.

chocolate, Valentine's Day, socially responsible, small businesses, fewer calories, value-addedRecently I discovered a premium chocolate – Sweet Riot – that has fewer calories. That's good but, if you're like me, not good enough. I can't just nibble a bit of a gourmet chocolate bar, I have to eat ALL of it right then and there. My waistline is thankful that Sweet Riot comes in individual portions that control my lack of control. Your sweetie may be equally as thankful.My social consciousness is thankful that, while headquartered in New York City, Sweet Riot manufactures its chocolate close to where cacao is grown, keeping a lot of the value-added profit in Latin American. A socially responsible supply chain makes the chocolate all the sweeter.

However, Sweet Riot has more than a socially responsible supply chain. It treats its employees here in NYC in a socially responsible way, something that's hard to do for small businesses. Sweet Riot may not be able to provide all the benefits of a large company, but it is team-oriented, upbeat, and service-oriented. It even provides employee stock options. Besides, you get to work with Sarah E. Endline, Mastermind and Chief Rioter. A more upbeat person, you'll never find.

Different Strokes for Different Folks
As some of you may know Sweet Riot isn't the first fair-trade chocolate company I've written about. In Fair Trade Is More Than a Label, I introduced you to Madécasse, which makes its chocolate in Madagascar. You may be asking which one of these two brands should I buy?

Well, that depends. On you and your taste buds.

It's like comparing Häagen-Dazs® and Ben & Jerry's. Madécasse is sophisticated and elegant. Sweet Riot is whimsical and playful. My recommendation is to buy them both and decide for yourself. You and your sweetie will enjoy making the decision together.

Once you've made your minds up, tell us which you like better and why.

Photo of Sarah E. Endline, Mastermind and Chief Rioter, from Sweet Riot website.