Shawn Askinosie, a former defense attorney, came into the chocolate business striving to empower those responsible for nurturing and harvesting cocoa beans while educating others on the importance of direct trade. Sourcing all its beans directly from farms in Ecuador, Honduras, the Philippines and Tanzania, Askinosie Chocolate shares the profits with all of its cocoa farmers.
His efforts have not gone unnoticed. The National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT) has chosen Shawn Askinosie, the founder of Askinosie Chocolate, as the recipient of its first annual Business Leadership Award.
The award is one of three individual Leadership awards given by NASFT to recognize organization members making an impact in the food industry.
Askinosie was nominated by his peers and selected by a panel of judges comprised of NASFT members and industry professionals. According to the 60-year-old trade association, the award is given to those who, “go above and beyond in advancing food standards in society.”
Askinosie will accept his award from NASFT during a ceremony at the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco on Jan. 22.