Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Exclusive Importer of Madagascar Chocolate

(Post: English)
"Brett Beach and Timothy McCollum hold the title of 'exclusive U.S. importer of Madagascar chocolate.'"

That is no small privilege since the island's aromatic cocoa bean is considered by some to yield the world's best dark chocolate.

From 1999 to 2001, Beach served in the Peace Corps in Madagascar, where he befriended volunteer McCollum.

Beach, now 33, stayed on five more years, working for the U.S. Embassy and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

He then returned to Lawrence, Kan., and launched Mad├ęcasse, with hopes of turning a natural resource into a job source for Madagascarians.

McCollum, 31, left his job at American Express in June to focus full-time on the startup, which they've funded with $50,000 from their own pockets and a $25,000 prize from a New York University business contest.

Mad├ęcasse now distributes chocolate and vanilla extract to over 100 shops in the U.S., and Beach projects 2009 sales of $500,000.

Source: BusinessWeek

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