Joyce Kushner uses chocolate to wake poeple up

Instead of accepting “labor-tainted” chocolate bars, hundreds of children will be handing back a fair-trade chocolate on Halloween made by the San Francisco owner of Coco-Zen during a national reverse trick-or-treating event.

Why should a trick-or-treater eat fair-trade chocolate instead of a Snickers or Butterfinger? When you buy fair trade, the chocolate is actually certified to come from co-ops or cocoa plantations that are geared to the fair-trade standards, which prohibit forced child labor.

What kind of a reaction are you expecting? I’m hoping it’s going to be sort of a wake-up call.

Why are you targeting children? I think part of it is that children have an inherent understanding of fairness. I think they’re able to express it better and it’s nice to kind of turn the tables and let adults think, “You know, you can learn something from the kids.”

How did your son inspire you to start the company? I left my job on maternity leave and always thought I’d go back to corporate America. Having a kid, you really start thinking as a new parent, “What kind of a person am I going to be? What kind of a person am I going to raise?”

Which one of your truffles could you eat a million of? I’m a dark-chocolate person, so my favorite flavor is the dark-chocolate nirvana. It’s the darkest you can get.

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