Happy Monday! This week’s Orange Jubilee Customer Spotlight takes a look at Lagusta’s Luscious, a New Paltz, NY-based vegan chocolate shop that “combines a deep commitment to social justice, environmentalism and animal rights with the love of bold flavor of a true foodie and the obsessive commitment to artisan techniques of a chocolatier.”
What’s more, all of it looks mind-blowingly delicious.
Who Are You?
“We’re a teeny tiny organic and fair-trade chocolate shop in the teeny tiny town of New Paltz, in New York’s beautiful Hudson Valley. We do a lot of mail order and have a lot of fun while working crazy hard to bring about our little version of delicious, delicious revolution.
Our chocolates combine a deep commitment to social justice, environmentalism and animal rights with the love of bold flavor of a true foodie and the obsessive commitment to artisan techniques of a chocolatier. We work closely with small farmers and producers in our farm-focused town and across the country to source everything from our Maui vanilla beans (from a tiny two-acre vanilla farm) to the candy-striped beets (our beet-coriander truffle will win you over, we promise!) grown by Farmer Jessica less than a mile away.”
What is your website?
Why do people care about your website?
“I love our website because I (Lagusta!) love to natter on endlessly, and the site allows me to do that. We not only have all our chocolates featured, but also all our previous Chocolates of the Month, so our friends and fans can relive wonderful times when they’ve eaten treats that we’re no longer making (we’ve made over 70 different chocolates over the years, so it’s not possible to have all of them all the time, sadly).
Our most popular items are our Rosemary Sea Salt Caramels, our Smoky Corn on the Cob Bar, and the Galapagos Turtles, which are caramel, sea salt, pecans and dark chocolate with a little sea salt on top. Because we’re so closely tied to local farms, many of our chocolates are seasonal so we’re constantly adding to the site when new chocolates become available. This fall we’ll be bringing back our Autumn Bonbon, which is sweet pumpkin, maple cream, whiskey and chestnuts, with all but the chestnuts grown and made within ½ hour of our shop.
It’s sad to think about, but many mainstream chocolate companies have been found to be buying their raw materials, cacao beans, from suppliers who have used child slaves and other atrocious practices in order to ensure high production at a very low cost. Because our chocolate is all fairly-traded, the workers who harvest the cacao beans are paid a fair price for their beans and our chocolate supplier, Tcho, is fully committed to complete transparency and ensuring that the human rights abuses that cacao sourcing has historically been linked to have nothing to do with our beans. Because of this, we’re really proud to be bringing people treats that are not only delicious, but truly ethical as well. We can sleep at night because we have fun jobs we love, and because we’re hopefully doing something good in the world, too.”
Thanks for sharing, Lagusta, and thanks for hosting with us!
Also be sure to check out Lagusta’s super-interesting food journal here. Look around, and you’ll find some fantastic posts on her thoughts about small businesses and food, along with the occasional recipe.
Interested in submitting your site for a future Customer Spotlight? Fill out this form!