Monday, November 20, 2017

Event alert: Steve Wallace of Omanhene, discussing Obroni and the Chocolate Factory, Tuesday, November 21, 7 pm, at Boswell

Tuesday, November 21, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Steven Wallace, author of Obroni and the Chocolate Factory: An Unlikely Story of Globalization and Ghana's First Gourmet Chocolate Bar, in conversation with Jody Hirsh, Judaic Education Director of the Harry and Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center, as part of the Tapestry arts series.

From WUWM's Lake Effect: "Just over a quarter-century ago, Milwaukee native Steve Wallace started Omanhene Cocoa Bean Company. It is not one of the huge players on the scene, nor is it a small boutique that makes truffles. Its greater significance is that it makes chocolate bars in the African nation of Ghana, where the cocoa beans are grown.

"The 26-year journey has not always been easy or straightforward, and in fact started with a journey Wallace took to Ghana as a high school exchange student. He chronicles that and the path that led to the creation of his chocolate company in a memoir, called Obroni and the Chocolate Factory: An Unlikely Story of Globalization and Ghana's First Gourmet Chocolate Bar." Listen to the whole interview here.

Here's my recommendation: "A high school trip to Ghana is the inspiration for a business venture years later. Instead of selling raw cocoa ingredients to foreign brokers, Ghana, through Wallace, could take advantage of the untapped market for single-origin, high-quality chocolate. With his knowledge of law (one previous career) and wholesale distribution (in tee shirts, an old family business), and a passion for the product, Wallace cobbles together a plan. Are there numerous setbacks along the way? One bad-tasting sample after another should answer that question. And in a country where 85% of jobs are through the government, do the Ghanaians even know what to make of this strange man and his dreams? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. But despite these setbacks, Obroni and the Chocolate Factory is an inspiring story about bringing a new product to market through creativity, drive, and learning to collaborate in spite of cultural differences." (Daniel Goldin)

About the Author: Native Wisconsinite Steven Wallace is the founder and CEO of the Omanhene Cocoa Bean Company, the first company to sustain exports of premium chocolate manufactured entirely in Africa, and credited with producing the world's first single-origin chocolate bar in 1994.

And yes, we're now selling Omanhene chocolate bars at Boswell.

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