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2nd Wednesday Lecture: Chocolate: History, Health Benefits, and Romance
February 14 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Chocolate: History, Health Benefits, and Romance!
Join us for a lecture on chocolate! In addition to learning about the history of chocolate, Valerie Beck, chocolate industry entrepreneur and educator, will give you many reasons to indulge in chocolate for its health benefits and romantic edge. We’ll have ethically sourced and fair trade chocolates to sample in addition to other sweets to enjoy on this special Valentine’s Day lecture. Please RSVP as space is limited.
Presenter’s Bio: Chocolate expert Valerie Beck is a chocolate industry entrepreneur and pioneer. Creator of the original chocolate tours, which she expanded across the US, she is also a chocolate consultant, broker, and speaker, as well as a cheerful and engaging media personality. She founded Chocolate Uplift to provide chocolate services to the trade, to the public, and to cacao growing nations.
Valerie is a pioneer in the business of chocolate tourism and other chocolate services to the public, to the trade, and to cocoa growing nations. Chocolate Uplift is the umbrella for all of these offerings. Chocolate Uplift provides entertaining and educational services to the public including trips to chocolate festivals around the world, and chocolate wellness seminars. Chocolate Uplift also provides valuable services to the chocolate industry, such as consulting to chocolate brands particularly in the small-batch and fine chocolate categories, importing fair trade cocoa beans and chocolate baking discs directly from ethical sources, and arranging origin trips to cocoa farms for bean-to-bar chocolate makers and others. In addition, Valerie consults for cocoa growing nations such as Ecuador, to promote their ethical cacao and chocolate.
A Chicago native, Valerie created the first chocolate tours when she founded Chicago Chocolate Tours in 2005, to introduce chocolate lovers to small-batch chocolate shops and bakeries. With her team of “Choc Stars” she grew the business to become a well-known and award-winning tour company, which opened in Philadelphia and Boston in 2009, and developed footprints in additional cities. In 2016, Valerie relaunched the business as Valerie’s Original Chocolate Tours, with renewed focus on sustainable cacao and artisan chocolate.