One of the themes at the core of the Chocology vision is kindness. Each and every day, we strive to put a smile on the faces of those we come across. So when we chose to visit the Atria Senior Living Center with Chocology Chocolates in tow, that’s what we had in mind.
We titled our workshop “Chocolate Lover’s Fest” and set out to create a fun filled and delicious afternoon with the seniors at Atria. Our purpose was to educate our friends about the origins of chocolate, have them vote for their favorite type of chocolate, taste some of our goodies and hopefully share a few laughs along the way.
Madeline and I started out by introducing ourselves and Chocology. We talked about the history of chocolate, where it comes from and how it’s made. Some of the residents reminisced about what chocolate was like in their younger days. Many of them said their favorite chocolate surprise when they were young was the solid chocolate Easter Bunny. Conversation ensued about how their families had enjoyed chocolate in days gone by. We loved hearing their stories and of course, we learned a lot from them as well.
Believe it or not, many of the residents had no idea that unlike money, chocolate literally does grow on trees! We passed around our cacoa pods given to us from friends in Central America. The residents couldn’t believe that chocolate bars, fudge and truffles actually start out as a bean!
Then we took a chocolate survey. Like the rest of our chocolate polls, dark chocolate won by a landslide. I passed out Fat-Ass Fudge while Madeline told them a funny story about White Chocolate and how it accidentally ended up on Nachos. They all laughed and I could see Madeline shining! We practiced eating chocolate mindfully. Soon after, our audience was “ooing” and “ahhing” over the silky delight. We explored the science and history of our favorite treat a bit more and then ended the afternoon with cups of white hot chocolate and cookies dipped into the melted chocolate of their choice.
As I packed up to leave, some of the residents lingered to chat some more with Madeline. Many of our elderly guests commented on how amazed they were that Madeline was so young and yet so knowledgeable and confident about chocolate. They loved that a teen could relate to people of all ages and engage with them so effortlessly. We promised to come back next month to play Chocolate Bingo.
On our way home, Madeline and I always like to talk about what was best and worst about our events. We always strive to make them better. We loved that we enlightened some of the residents to the fact that chocolate really does grow on trees! The residents were tickled about that and it put a smile on our faces as well. Madeline also felt that she was becoming more of a partner at Chocology rather than an assistant. And she definitely is! She co-led the class with maturity and grace. I was super proud of her! On the worst side, we need to remember to take pictures…we always get so involved in conversation that we forget to take pictures.
Madeline brought up the fact that we went in hoping to make the residents feel good but we left feeling great ourselves and I agreed. That’s usually what happens when we give. We get so much back in return.
We look forward to more events with our friends at Atria Senior Center and sharing our love of chocolate with them even more. They’re willingness to learn in their latter years is an inspiration to us. Their playful demeanors and delightful attitudes were definitely a mirror of what we stand for at Chocology!