Wild Ophelia: Socially Responsible

by Heidi Andrianos
Wild Ophelia

Part of an ongoing series about interesting,  food companies.

What the company does: Wild Ophelia is a fair trade, GMO-free premium brand that uses a portion of its sales to award grants to promising young female food entrepreneurs.

How is the company ?

Crafting Clean Chocolate

This chocolate is the good stuff: all-natural, fair trade, GMO-free, and sourced from small farms and artisans from across the globe. To maintain the high environmental standards of the brand, Wild Ophelia commits to their own “Green Purchasing Oath,” which obligates them to review the entire company every quarter based on the sustainability of their ingredients, packaging practices, energy used, and even their use of office supplies. Nonetheless, the prices stay fair: all of their chocolate bars and peanut butter cups range between $2.99 and $4.99. (FAQ) (Green Purchasing Oath)

Empowering the next generation of female food entrepreneurs

Founder Katrina Markoff launched the Wild Ophelia Accelerator Program in 2017 to propel high school and college-aged girls into the world of food entrepreneurship. Every year, the company selects one promising young woman to participate in a paid, 8-week summer internship at their Chicago headquarters, where she receives a comprehensive, immersive overview of running a food business. The curriculum includes introductions to research and development, manufacturing, costs accounting, quality control, marketing, and much more. Upon completion, Wild Ophelia provides this woman $5,000 to help bring her product to market. (Wild Ophelia Accelerator Program) (Robb Report)

The funding for this accelerator comes from a portion of Wild Ophelia’s chocolate sales – so every time you buy one of their chocolate products, you’re contributing to an entrepreneur’s startup!

Company origin:

After studying the culinary arts across the globe, Katrina Markoff returned to the U.S. and founded her own gourmet chocolate brand, Vosges Haut-Chocolat, in 1998. She incorporated the unusual ingredients she encountered across the globe into her chocolate, such as chilies, olive oil, and curry powder. In 2012, Markoff founded Vosges’ sister brand, Wild Ophelia, in order to create premium chocolate at affordable prices and to pass on her knowledge to the next generation of female foodie entrepreneurs. Combined, Vosges Haut-Chocolat and Wild Ophelia pull in an annual $30 million in revenue. Markoff’s work has been recognized by Bon Appetit, Fortune Magazine, Food & Wine Magazine, National Geographic, and many more. (Bizjournals)

Latest “socially responsible” project:

In 2018, Wild Ophelia partnered with High Brew Coffee, an all-natural and fair trade beverage company to launch Cold Brew Chocolate Coffee Bites. Flavors include Sea Salt Caramel Latte, Mexican Vanilla, Jet Black, and White Mocha. (BevNET)

Any additional notable projects or products:

The team has started an initiative to work with more female cocoa farmers across the globe. Wild Ophelia is currently partnering with a few farms run exclusively by women in Haiti and Ecuador, and has plans to create an all female-run supply chain. (Robb Report)

Where to buy: http://www.wildophelia.com/

Starbucks, Whole Foods, Wegmans, HEB, and Walgreens

Fact Sheet and Details

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