Growing with Purpose

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May 9, 2018  

Shawn Askinosie: Can Chocolate Change the World?

May 9, 2018

By many measures, Askinosie Chocolate is a small company — they work in small, artisan batches, they focus on developing their 17 employees, and they're not afraid to hit the breaks and decelerate in order to achieve goals other than growth for growth's sake. But the impact of Askinosie Chocolate is anything but small.

 Today on the Growing with Purpose podcast, host Paul Spiegelman talks with Askinosie Chocolate founder and CEO, Shawn Askinosie. Shawn started Askinosie Chocolate in 2006 after leaving a successful career as a criminal defense lawyer. Shawn is the only chocolate maker to work directly with cocoa farmers on four continents to source the beans used to make their chocolate. But it doesn't stop there — Shawn also extends the company's open-book management program to their partners; profit-sharing and translating company financials with each farmer.

Recently named one of Forbes' Small Giants: Best Small Companies in America, Askinosie Chocolate is sharing business ethics with the world through "Chocolate University," introducing students to the chocolate-making process and even taking a group to Tanzania every year. They also started a sustainability program that feeds 1,600 children a day in Tanzania and the Philippines, without ever collecting a single donation. In 2017, Shawn released a book with his daughter, Lawren Askinosie, about finding meaningful work that feeds your soul

From their factory and warehouse in Springfield, Missouri, Askinosie Chocolate is forging its own unique path to change the world through chocolate. In this episode, hear Shawn's ideas around reverse scale and deceleration, extending open-book management to company partners, and how entrepreneurship can help heal grief.