This isn’t a love story. It’s a love of chocolate story.
Two Santa Monica locals, Leslie, living in Santa Monica, and Danny, currently residing in Peru, both turn to Kickstarter, an online fundraising platform, to launch their organic Fair Trade chocolate companies. They find and contribute to each other’s projects, strike up a friendship, and decide to work together to fundraise for their respective campaigns and plan future collaborations.
“When I first saw the Placebo Project on Kickstarter I instantly felt a connection to their goal of spreading love through chocolate so I pledged some money,” says Leslie Berliant, owner of Le Marais Chocolat. “And then I took a look at Le Marais Chocolat and their campaign to raise funds for their Fair Trade Certification and I knew I wanted to be a part of it,” adds Danny Jacobs, founder of the Placebo Chocolate Project.
Leslie and Danny started talking on Skype about their common desire to share the love of chocolate with their communities and the communities that raise the cocoa beans. Leslie’s company, Le Marais Chocolat makes upscale small batch hand-dipped truffles from organic Fair Trade chocolate with a portion of proceeds going to support orphanages in Haiti. Danny’s company, the Placebo Chocolate Project makes inspirational etched 1 lb organic Fair Trade chocolate bars, with another bar going to children who can be inspired by the chocolate but can’t afford it.
“Our Santa Monica connection and shared love of ethical, inspiring chocolate was more than enough to want to work together and support each other,” says Danny, who started the Placebo Chocolate Project to make it easy for people to share love, joy, and inspiration. “I launched Le Marais Chocolat in mid-January when I decided to finally take the plunge and follow my dreams of becoming a chocolatier,” explains Leslie who is a single mom with a daughter getting ready to graduate from Santa Monica High School and has been working in cause marketing and PR.
Both of their projects are about halfway to their fundraising goals with 15 days and 21 days until their deadlines. They only receive their pledged support if the projects are fully funded. They are hoping that the local Santa Monica community will help them get there and support not only their chocolate projects, but their visions for really delicious chocolate that gives back too. And for those who pledge to either or both projects, they are guaranteed double-good and double-deliciousness in their futures.
Based in Santa Monica, California, Le Marais Chocolat creates small batch, hand-dipped chocolate truffles using organic Fair Trade Certified chocolate, organic cream and other locally sourced, organic ingredients to create delicious, rustic, handcrafted truffles.
Unique flavors like Black Walnut, Rosemary Orange, Lemon Thyme and the signature Le Petit Prince truffle made with the fruit of the baobab tree, combine fresh herbs, flowers, fruits and other ingredients.
All the chocolate used is organic and Fair Trade Certified and a portion of every sale is donated to charity. For more information, visit www.lemaraischocolat.com.
Inspired by a crazy around-the-world journey that began in Santa Monica and ended in Cuzco, Peru, the Placebo Chocolate Project makes it easy for people to share love, joy, and inspiration with organic, fair-trade chocolate.
Placebo Chocolate etches inspirational words into wonderfully flavored chocolate bars, and sends a chocolate bar to a child each time a chocolate is purchased. For more information, visit www.placeboeffect.com.