Since the beginning, French Broad Chocolate has been deeply committed to sustainability. Dan and Jael's pilgrimage from Costa Rica to Asheville was on a bus Dan converted to run on waste fryer oil... with auxiliary power supplied by a solar panel he mounted on the roof!
Opened in 2008, The original Chocolate Lounge (around the corner on Lexington Avenue) was a 4-star Certified Green Restaurant, with a 5 panel solar hot water system and many other energy efficiency improvements.
When the Chocolate Lounge relocated, we undertook an adaptive reuse of the first floor of the historic Legal Building, occupying what had, for most of its history, been a bank. Key improvements included LED lighting, low flow plumbing fixtures and a high efficiency hot water system, and use of reclaimed building materials.
Down the hill at our factory, on the South Slope of downtown Asheville, a three-panel hot water solar system gets the chocolate off our pots and pans. Of course, we share our cacao shell mulch with local farmers and gardeners, and anything that can be composted is picked up by our colleague Danny of Danny's Dumpster, helping build our local soil fertility!
The list of initiatives we have taken to minimize our environmental footprint is a source of pride, but our most longstanding and devoted effort is in the purity and wholesomeness of our food.
Living in the fertile southern Appalachian mountains amid kindred agrarian spirits, we look no further than a holler in Old Sandy Mush for our flats of strawberries each spring, or Annie Louise's market stand for our fall pumpkins. We believe in supporting our community and its economy and are blessed to be surrounded with good food; chocolate and desserts are our contributions to that goodness! We must reach outside our foodshed for a few of our staples (like cacao and sugar!), but we remain true to our values, seeking farmers and producers whose values are in line with our own.
Certified B Corporation:
We envision a global economy that uses business as a force for good.
As B Corporations and leaders of this emerging economy, we believe:
- That we must be the change we seek in the world.
- That all business ought to be conducted as if people and place mattered.
- That businesses should aspire to do no harm and benefit all.
That we are each dependent upon another and thus responsible for each other and future generations.
Learn more here.
Certified Green Restaurant:
Founded in 1990, The Green Restaurant Association, an international nonprofit organization, has pioneered the Green Restaurant® movement as the leading voice within the industry, encouraging restaurants to green their operations using transparent, science-based certiﬁcation standards. We are proud to have earned our 3 Star Certified Green Restaurant Status in Food, Eater, Waste, Energy, Chemicals, Disposables & Building Materials.
Learn more here.
We implement environmentally friendly practices in our shipping process as well! We have said goodbye to styrofoam and during warmer months, we ship exclusively in environmentally friendly insulated coolers. The outer cardboard boxes are recyclable, the biodegradable insulation layer is manufactured, primarily, of post-industrial, pre-consumer cotton and other natural fibers, and the ice packs are biodegradable.
We’re helping to increase bicycle traffic by partnering with Bicycle Benefits. We reward cyclists for their regular physical activity and use of non-motorized movement with discounts when they show their helmet with the Bicycle Benefits sticker. Bicycling decreases pollution, congestion, parking demand, and helps create a healthier community.
Learn more here.