As I’m sure our Rioters have noticed, sweetriot is pretty crazy about cacao, but our coffee addiction is definitely a close second. From dark roasts to pumpkin spice lattes, we need our caffeine to get us through the day. That being said, we care a whole lot about where our coffee comes from, and we hold it to the same standards we do our chocolate!
Have you ever considered where your coffee started out? Farmers from countries all over the world harvest coffee beans and sell them to importers. But sometimes these farmers are tricked into selling their beans to middlemen for much less than they’re worth. By buying fair trade coffee, you’re supporting hardworking farmers, ensuring they get the money they deserve. Fair trade gives farmers an honest price for their harvest and connects them directly with importers. As a result, farmers receive higher incomes and can properly maintain their land to produce quality product.
In celebration of Fair Trade Month, sweetriot is asking our Rioters to buy fair trade products. That might mean walking the extra block to reach a fair trade coffee shop in the morning, but we promise the trek is worthwhile. Check out fairtradeusa.org for a list of fair trade coffee companies and products, because equitable coffee is more joyful, more delicious, and filled with more good vibes!
Hey Rioters, we’re so excited to keep talking about Fair Trade Month with you, but we wanted to take a second to fill you in on something awesome one of our rioters did a couple weeks ago! Tracy Johnson, Catalyst of Cool Operations at sweetriot, set out to raise awareness about sustainability and active transportation in the Climate Ride 2014. Tracy completed the five-day bike trip, over three hundred miles, from New York City to Washington, DC and somehow still made it into the office last week! sweetriot did a Q&A with Tracy to get more info on her journey and to hopefully inspire our rioters to take part in next year’s ride! Check it out:
How does biking from NYC to DC promote climate awareness?
In order to participate in this event, participants must raise a minimum contribution. Through this fundraising effort, each participant educates their prospective donors and, in my case, I asked the company I work for to spread the word through social media outlets. Additionally, the physical ride itself spreads awareness to those who see the riders on their way to the Capitol!
That’s awesome! How much did you end up fundraising for your ride, and where did that money go? My final fundraising efforts totaled $2,972, which was evenly distributed to the three beneficiaries that I decided to support: B Lab/B Corporation, The Nature Conservancy and The Natural Resources Defense Council.
Three hundred miles is a lot. Fundraising aside, how long did it take you to physically prepare for Climate Ride?
It is highly recommended to train months before the ride as you will certainly need endurance and to have built certain muscles to go up these crazy hills. With that said, beginners are certainly welcome and if you are injured or unable to go forward, the amazing Climate Ride staff is available to shuttle you until you are able to continue.
Who were your main support systems during this experience, whether in training or in the ride itself? My friends and family were of the utmost support both with training and with the fundraising efforts. sweetriot was also a huge support system with informing our rioters about the cause and spreading the word.
sweetriot is obviously big on promoting fair trade products, but where does environmental awareness fit in? Where do you see similar goals and interests?
sweetriot is a B Corporation, which is the organization that organized the team I rode for during Climate Ride. B Corporation and sweetriot believe in transparency in all aspects of a business, and this directly correlates to the awareness that all individuals should feel is necessary when inquiring about sustainability. The reality is that Climate Change is very real and affects all of us regardless of if we acknowledge it. Education is the first step.
Will you be participating next year, and how can our rioters get involved?
It is VERY easy to get involved and I recommend that anyone who has even a tiny bit of interest should just sign up and go for it! If NYC to DC is too far away, there are other events throughout the nation and the year that you can get involved in! Visit their website to see how you can get involved today! http://www.climateride.org/
Get excited Rioters--October is National Fair Trade Month! To kick off the celebration, we want to introduce you to one of our most important partners: Fair Trade USA. Fair Trade USA is the leading third-party certifier of fair trade products in the United States. Because they are a non-profit, they do awesome things with their mission in mind—not for a bottom line—and that’s part of the reason why their work is so meaningful.
Along with certification, Fair Trade USA focuses on education of the consumer and of the farmers producing the goods. They’re aiming for fair prices and safe conditions for workers everywhere, because everyone deserves to live a healthy life. Fair Trade USA is driven by its core values: empowerment, integrity, sustainability, innovation, excellence, personal development, community, fairness, and impact.
So, how does equitable trade accomplish all of these goals? Families, struggling against the vicious cycle of poverty, are paid fair wages and can then eat better and afford to live in cleaner residences. They can send their children to school, which allows those children to invest in a better future for themselves and others around them. These are big goals, but your every day decisions to purchase Fair Trade certified products is helping Fair Trade USA achieve all this and more!
At sweetriot, we value the impact that a fair trade model can have globally. Our partnership with Fair Trade USA is important to us because we want our products to be good for everyone—including the farmers who grow and harvest our cacao. Plus, we think cacao grown with love in a joyful environment just tastes better! Even if we as consumers can’t always see processes that go into our products, it is our responsibility to educate ourselves about injustice and continue the fight to eradicate it. We know you care and we are so happy to be rioting alongside you! Let’s celebrate the work of Fair Trade USA this month. You can learn more at BeFair.org. Riot On!
If you’re a long-time Rioter, then you know how excited sweetriot is about promoting our rocking artists! Every few months, we ask our Rioters to vote for an emerging artist to share his or her work on our upcoming packaging. But we don’t want our support for these amazing artists to end at a riotBar or Nib Tin, so we’ve put together a list of some of our past featured artists! Instead of sharing the same artwork we used for our riotBars and tins, we want to show you some other pieces these talented individuals have created (and to share their blogs and online stores with you). Don’t forget to click their names to be linked to more of their work :) !
Lindy Gaskill has been a fan of abstract and expressionist artwork since she was a little girl, and it inspired her to pursue her own creativity. After traveling around the world, including nine countries and a number of states, Gaskill used her cultural experiences to develop her unique artistic style.
Ira L. Black is a New York based photographer, with a focus in digital photography. Black has shot portraits for individuals including anyone from His Holiness The Dalai Lama to Hillary Clinton to Jay Sean. He’s also showcased his fine art photography, like the image below, around the states.
Rebecca Case loves the wild, especially when she gets to paint and photograph it. Inspired by her move from Colorado to Michigan, Case takes advantage of the woodsy areas near her home to create her art.
Paph Orchid in Egg Tempra
Sheena Sood studied textile design and visual art in college, and has since launched her own (super cute) clothing collection called abacaxi. Abacaxi has a unique tropical feel that triggers images of the sun, surf and island wildlife with an urban twist.
The Adeline Dress
Callie Hirsch first became inspired during a scuba diving trip with her father and family friend Dick Strauss, an underwater photographer. Since, Hirsch has been fascinated by sea life, and uses different art mediums to reproduce images of the fascinating creatures she researches.
Gabriele Stewart was born and educated in Switzerland, but now lives in the United States with her husband and three children. Stewart focuses on acrylic and mixed media paintings that explore the tension between control and commotion through abstract visuals.
After she received her degree in fine art at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Maggie Hernandez remained in New York City to work. Her abstract paintings capture untamed emotion by using strong color and movement.
Patty West Elstrott is a New Orleans contemporary artist whose paintings focus on scale and subject matter in a literal and ambiguous way. Elstrott is interested in adapting the physical world, making the invisible become visible.
Thomas Fedro lives right outside of Chicago in Arlington Heights, Illinois where he creates abstract art with “zing.” His large paintings embody deep colors and bold lines that represent the modern world in a playful, poppy way.
Jelene Morris works from her home studio creating everything from clay sculptures to canvas paintings. She makes smaller paintings, which she calls “minipop” series, but also paintings as large as six feet in length!
Poptoons and Nightmare Series
Mike Hammer’s abstract canvas paintings aren’t very easy to describe. Hammer likes to focus on “things,” meaning material objects, in a quirky way using a mix of colors and a minimalist approach.
On a beautiful July day in Provence, France our own Sarah Endline, Mastermind and Chief Rioter, married her French beau, Jean-Luc! We'll share more photos soon, but here's a quick taste of their lavendar-filled wedding day!
It's time to Rock the Art Vote! sweetriot supports emerging artists by featuring their work on our packaging, and we love to involve YOU in the process! We need the help of our Riot Community to choose a new artist to feature on our Cacao Nib Tins. CLICK HERE to cast your vote and be sure to share with your art-loving friends!
Hello, my name is Anny Liu and I'm very excited to be a part of the sweetriot team! I was born in Chengdu China, but I was raised for most of my life in Orlando, Florida. Though I loved the sunshine state, I have to say my favorite parts of living in NYC now are learning about different cultures, the convenience and all the opportunities to try new things! I like all kinds of music sans country, but my favorite artist would have to be Florence and the Machine. Like many that move to NYC, I've always been a huge fan of music, possibly a result of the 14 years of piano I've practiced. I also really love to swim (my favorite pool game is marco polo!), but one of the most unique things about me right now is probably that when I run, for some reason I always find myself holding my thumbs up! When at Sweetriot, you can probably find me eating my favorite Quirky Quinoa Crunchy bar, though the Coconut bar comes close in second. I hope I've helped you get to know me a little more, riot on!
Our next intern we want to introduce you to is Shadiyat! Here's a little bit about who she is and what she brings to our team!
I'm from Atlanta, Georgia. My favorite thing about NYC is the free concerts and great restaurants. I love different kinds of music and most of it is pretty calming. My favorite artists in no specific order are Justin Nozuka and Childish Gambino. My favorite Sweetriot product is the Kickin' Coconut RiotBar but the 70% Nibs with espresso are a close second. Interesting facts... I took Latin for 6 years, I only like strawberry ice cream with real strawberries, anything else is just rude, and I'm really good at guessing song names within the first couple seconds (on a good day, I can name the album too).
Next up in our Summer Intern intro's is Candice, who might be the most fashionable girl we know. Read a bit about her, in her own words!
My name is Candice Yan, a NYU graduate student from China. I have been in NYC for less than 1 year and already fall in love with it the first day I got here. In NYC, everyone is from elsewhere so you never feel alone or isolated. In this city of art, you have the chance to experience everything as long as you have the gut to imagine. I love jazz and soul music, so my favorite singers are Adele and Rebecca Ferguson. My favorite sweetriot product is 70% Dark Chocolate with Quirky Quinoa.
Three interesting facts about Candice:
1. People always mistake me for Japanese and will speak Japanese to me on the street.
2. Different from the quiet appearance, I love adventures and excitement.
3. I am Chinese, but I took western literature as my major in college.
This summer sweetriot is excited to welcome several interns to our Riot Room in NYC! We love how unique our interns are and we want to give you a little introduction to each of them. We are starting today with a little bit about Marion, in her own adorable words!
My name is Marion, and I will be the French rioter during 2 months! My optimism and my joy of living make me a funny girl. My French accent and my mistakes make people laugh.
Visiting NYC was my dream and now my dream comes true. Every morning I wake up, take the subway from Brooklyn to Manhattan and listen to some American RnB like Mary J. Blige while admiring the landscape on the Williamsburg Bridge.
I really enjoy coming to work every morning into a warm and relaxed atmosphere. And I absolutely fall in love with the delicious coconut bar! I could eat this all the day… And that’s what I do.