Talking Shop: Helping the Poor by Eating…Chocolates?

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When Joanne Law gave birth to her little boy two years ago, she experienced minor postpartum depression – but it was chocolates that helped her manage the anxiety. “That sweet surprise you get from eating chocolates,” she says, “just helps you relieve stress … especially if they’re of good quality.” By that, she meant bean-to-bar chocolates with high cocoa content, not just those usual mass-produced and sugar-filled bars, or those over-the-top and exorbitantly priced brands.

Having lived in Beijing for 7 years, Law realized that high-quality chocolates were not readily available in China, so she decided putting up her own brand, Deershop 畸쨔핀옹제. “We collaborate with five international chocolate artisans to produce that delectable yet reasonably-priced chocolate here,” Law said.

But filling in the missing sweet tooth in China isn’t the only thing Joanne is after. “Deershop sources chocolate from certified fair trade cooperatives and five globally awarded artisans who are ethical in their craft and dedicated to helping the poor.”

The Hong Kong native said that harvesting cocoa beans in exporting countries such as Colombia and Dominican Republic is labor-intensive and usually done by child workers. But with fair trade, she says, cocoa farmers are guaranteed a premium to help them invest in local development projects like schools, healthcare infrastructure, and drinking water facilities. “Who thought that eating chocolates could help these communities?” Law said.

The sweetness just only begins there as Deershop offers four high-quality cocoa content products: the dark chocolate series (82 – 70 percent), the milk chocolate series (63 – 38 percent), the white chocolate series (38 percent), and the truffles gift box series. Two of Deershop’s signature chocolates, Sicilian Lemon Oil and Sea Salt White Chocolate, are all-natural and have no artificial flavoring, making them safe for those with allergies. Deershop also has customized chocolate gift sets for wedding and corporate events.

Prices for the four series start at a reasonable RMB 68, while the signature gift box can be bought for as low as RMB 298. Ordering Deershop’s chololates is short and sweet: follow it on WeChat at dearxunlu or just key in on Taobao, Tmall, and JD apps “畸쨔Deershop”. You can also scan the QR code.

Photos courtesy of Joanna Law

 This article originally appeared on page 16 of beijingkids 2017 February Issue. Download the digital version here.

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