The point of Zimt is to generate revenue as ethically as possible through manufacturing and sales of high quality confections, to support required operating costs, and equally importantly, to donate 1% plus of our sales to effective charities
Zimt Chocolates had some fairly humble beginnings. Zimt is run by humans, who are, by default, imperfect. We do, however, our best.
But- from the get go- the point of Zimt has been the same.
Founder Emma Smith started out by making chocolates in her home kitchen (fun fact: in their respective home kitchens is where basically every food manufacturer on the planet started).
After getting the thumbs up from some critical taste buds, it was time to sell in retail stores. Except it’s illegal to do this from a home kitchen in Canada- the Canadian Food Inspection Agency would be enraged.
So. She began to manufacture out of a church kitchen, then a vegan cupcake shop, then a vegan yogurt factory, then in a chocolate factory, then got last minute renovicted, then in a room in a warehouse, and simultaneously, still worked with the chocolate factory, and also rented a table at a commercial kitchen. Now Zimt proudly operates their own proper chocolate factory and continues to expand.
It has always been the goal to go all out- yes, our ingredients are all certified organic, yes we just use coconut sugar and coconut nectar to sweeten our treats (did you know that it is 'the world's most sustainable sweetener' according to the FAO?!),yes our products taste amazing but- did you know that we take it a step or two further?
We are committed to donating at least 1% of all of our sales to helping those in need. If you want to learn about who we support, you can check out this page. But here's a bit anyway, about who we support:
- non human animals: did you know that over 56 billion non human animals are killed every year for people and domesticated animals to eat? They definitely need our help. Unfortunately, political dedication is not committed to reducing harm, so we donate to animal shelters that take in the broken and wounded and deserving of living out their days far better.
- humans: we donate to organizations that help feed the hungry in regions where it is extremely difficult for people to get any food whatsoever, improving infrastructure in economically poor regions and to women and girls in nations that still practice FGM.
Zimt is a vegan company. We only make vegan products. We have vegan bandages at the factory, just in case. We use vegan cleaning products for our kitchen and hands and laundry. We don't need to hurt anybody to make delicious things. We don't. Nobody does- it is a choice.
A Healthy Planet
And! And. Not that you should waste our delicious chocolate like this, but if you buried an entire Zimt chocolate bar, still in its packaging, underground, you know what you would be left with? A whole lot of nothing. Because it is totally biodegradable- packaging and all.
We've been using biodegradable packaging from the very beginning. Back in the day, this variety was a lot less readily available. In fact, it was impossible to find a size that would fit our bars.
Emma's Oma took on the challenge, hand sealing and cutting larger, biodegradable bags, then making them the perfect size for every single Zimt bar. Those would have been tough times without Oma.
That is Zimt in a nutshell (minus the nuts. We don't put those in our chocolate. Though, they are delicious.). Just a "slightly-obsessed-with-delivering-the best-possible" chocolate company.
EMMA SMITH, OWNER + FOUNDER
Very few of us have left 'that' legacy- the kind of legacy those aspiring to leave, leave. Household names that have lasted centuries have done a pretty good job.
Most everybody ends up forgotten by most.
There's this thing about creating your value, your 'personal brand', to not being forgotten. To be seen. To be heard. To be important.
We're frantic for it.
But really, what does it matter? It doesn't. Because at the end of the day, you want to be remembered by those who loved you, who knew you, who you can call out, who saw you at your worst and still gave you a hug, whose shoulder you not only cried on, but slimed all over. And then got hugged by, again- real tight. The somebody who never lets go.
Last year, I started this project where I interviewed some fellow business owners about why they started their businesses. I never completed it because- it could have all been one interview. They all came up with a great idea and wanted to share it with the world.
It's not an easy path, but you don't realize how hard it is until you are in it, elbow deep in dishes at 3am, in a cold, industrial kitchen, ready for hours of packaging ahead.
If you really just want to share it, share it with the people who value you most- who love you, who you've cried into. Who you value.
If you want to make money, do some dishes.
I learned about sweatshops when I was a kid. I wrote to companies from my mom's email address, once email became a thing, asking them about their labour standards. The internet wasn't really happening yet. I called 1-800 numbers on the back of packaging to ask about ingredients. I didn't know much, but I knew something. And I ran with it.
I'm basically doing the same thing. I'm picky. Back in the day, when I was finishing up at school and I couldn't find a company that I felt right about earning money through, I started Zimt. I'd grow it myself, or ruin it myself- I'd try.
I'm still trying. Trying to make a living and get through life, doing the dishes with one hand, and clutching to the ones I love with the other- and with my whole heart.
- emma of Zimt