Rescue is always right, right? Not necessarily. We have learned that sometimes a group will call itself an animal rescue when in fact it is a backyard breeding operation, pure and simple. And dog- and cat-breeding is the last thing we would ever want to support!
For the first several years of Rescue Chocolate’s existence, we prided ourselves on supporting any rescue group that came to our attention. If the group wished to partner with us on fundraising, we were happy to oblige. We offered $1 back for each product purchased by their members on our website. We also sold our products in bulk to them at below-wholesale rates for Girl Scout cookie-type drives. We didn’t ask for proof of 5013(c) status—the Internal Revenue Service’s benchmark for a non-profit organization. Instead, we trusted that animal rescuers were good-hearted souls, with or without the legal paperwork.
But we changed our policy when we learned how easy it is for conniving people to christen themselves with a cute animal-oriented moniker and then sell to the unsuspecting public their “rescued” kittens and puppies—animals which they purposely bred in often inhumane conditions, á la puppy mills. This deviousness runs counter to everything we believe!
Now we are careful to insure that the groups we support are legitimate rescues. The 501c(3) status is helpful. We also investigate how long the group has been around, what its website looks like, how active it is on social media, and the strength of its track record in placing truly homeless animals. We still want to be able to assist small, grassroots groups. But we know our customers want the assurance that we are only donating to animal heroes, not animal exploiters.
We hope that when you are ready to adopt, you will do your homework as well. Make sure the group from which you are acquiring your new best friend is in fact the rescue that it purports to be. If there is a ragtag bunch of puppies in crates on a street corner, and a rough “Cutie’s Rescue” sign tacked up somewhere nearby, be suspicious. When the clues are not quite that obvious, it is important to do due diligence.
The quickest way to put unscrupulous breeders out of business is not to patronize them. That’s one more strategy in our arsenal for achieving no-kill status nationwide!
Coffee does NOT get me started in the morning. I’ve never developed a taste for it. I guess that puts me in a 1% club of sorts. For the first couple of years after Rescue Chocolate was founded, it seemed like the other 99% were contacting us and begging us to come out with a coffee-flavored chocolate bar.
We resisted as long as we could, but then finally succumbed. And I have to admit, our best-selling Forever Mocha bar is divine. In addition to coffee, it contains a wicked-good hazelnut praline. It is possible (for me) to wolf down two whole bars in the blink of an eye.
Which got me thinking… what other vegan products containing coffee might be worth a try?
When visiting relatives in the Midwest recently, I stumbled upon something called Coffee Cereal. My cousins claimed this stuff allowed them to be super-efficient in the morning. Instead of drinking a cup of coffee and eating a bowl of cereal, they could eliminate one step and just ingest coffee cereal! I tried it. It was a corn flakey-type product with a nice zing. Coffee Cereal is only available around Illinois, but the two physics students who founded the company have plans to expand.
Moving away from the breakfast hour, there are the lovely little VerMints breath-freshening capsules that come in a variety of flavors--including Café Express. These contain organic, fair-trade coffee and a touch of Vermont maple syrup. Truly yummy, any time of day.
But let’s get back to the most important component of any meal: dessert! It is wonderful to note that most of the self-service frozen yogurt places popping up around the country have a soy-yogurt option for their patrons. The Tutti Frutti stores actually have a decaf coffee bean topping with which to crown your soy-yogurt creation.
Another great topper or drink infuser is the coffee syrup from Torani. It can be stirred into smoothies and spritzed over all kinds of baked goods for a genuine Brazilian coffee bean punch.
Meanwhile, So Delicious Dairy Free offers a coffee soymilk ice cream whose title says it all: Mocha Almond Fudge. The almonds are crunchy and the fudge creates a luscious swirl throughout the creamy coffee-ness. Of course it doesn’t hurt that the product is certified organic, gluten-free, and non-GMO.
Coffee-flavored desserts abound at my local vegan cupcakeries and donut shops. Here in Brooklyn, we are blessed to have Dunwell Donuts at our fingertips. Amongst their whopping 75 flavors, they serve up the Espresso Mocha donut which is to die for. In towns where there are not such civilized businesses, regular bakeries might do a single vegan flavor of the week incorporating coffee, if they are asked nicely.
And if you’ve had enough coffee-inflected food for awhile, how about considering some coffee beauty products? Lavami makes a body scrub utilizing finely ground coffee beans, coconut, raw sugar, coffee butter, almond oil and cinnamon and vanilla essential oils. I think the coffee is included for its rich aroma, while the other ingredients are designed to hydrate and nourish your skin. Then there’s the Wake Up Bath & Body gift collection from Java & Co. You get body butter, body frosting, a body scrub, a lip balm, and a lip scrub… all sporting your choice of regular or decaf coffee. These companies have the coffee addicts covered, literally.
All this talk of coffee is making me too antsy to sit around the computer any longer. Coffee lovers, it’s time to sally forth and conquer the world.
Around here, we like to scream that dark chocolate is a health food!
We can regale you with the scientific studies that conclude dark chocolate aids in reducing depression and lifting one’s mood, helps improve blood flow and brings down high blood pressure, lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease, and maybe even protects your skin against too much sun.
But there’s also at least one (admittedly unscientific) example of Rescue Chocolate’s efficacy in slimming the self down to summer body proportions. Look here:
The photo on the left shows yours truly selling her favorite product while layered up with wintertime padding. The photo on the right shows the same RC hawker about 40 pounds lighter. Believe what you wish about those pesky calories and carbs, but in my opinion these weight-loss results can be achieved utilizing my special at-least-one-chocolate-bar-a-day diet!
And sometimes, one bar per day doesn’t even do it. I have been known to supplement with the odd truffle or mini bar here and there. And maybe a Like White bar too, because it is a totally different food group, right?
Of course, taking the dog for numerous walks everyday is helpful as well. And yes, I do pay attention to the calories of my chocolate indulgences, which are not horrendous:
Bananas Foster Dogs 280
Calico Coconut Rum 80
Cookies ‘n Cream (bar) 210
Fakin’ Bacon 330
Fancy Fruit 200
The Fix 360
Forever Mocha 320
Foster-iffic Peppermint 350
Grand Champion 450
Mission Feral Fig 290
Peanut Butter Pit Bull (full size) 350
Peanut Butter Pit Bull (mini) 85
Pick Me! Pepper 320
Quinoa Crunch 200
Salted Caramel Bow Wow Bon Bon (single) 30
Wild At Heart (single) 70
So if you’ve got anything to lose--or even if you don’t--I heartily recommend the daily RC chocolate diet! If you don’t drop any pounds with this regime, at least you’ll have a delicious time trying.
We love finding the names of rescue groups in the Note field of our online orders, because that means we have the opportunity to send out special donations.
For those who don’t know, one of the ways we partner with animal rescue groups for fundraising is our write-in program. The groups urge their members, supporters, co-workers, friends, and family to purchase Rescue Chocolate online, typing in the name of the group with which they are affiliated. We count up the products in those orders and donate $1 per product to the group at the end of every month.
We value each group that participates. But, here are a few we’d especially like to highlight:
If you’ve got a favorite animal rescue organization with plenty of busy social networkers and chocolate-eaters, let us add it to our roster of fundraising partners!