Helping journalists, producers and conference planners find the female guests, speakers and expert sources they need.

New partner puts chocolate in the mouths of expert women

by Shari Graydon

Warning: this post contains an unabashed product endorsement.

It’s the one thing I try not to leave home without: Cocoa Camino Mint chocolate.

Screen shot from LaSiembra's home page

Screen shot from LaSiembra’s home pagBut there I was in downtown Toronto during a February snowstorm in serious need of a mid-afternoon energy re-boot. Coffee’s not an option for me, and since I discovered Camino’s particularly addictive combination of dark chocolate and mint crunch, I’m no longer even interested in trying alternative confections. (I have, when desperate, but they just don’t compare.)

But there I was, stranded in the middle of a snowstorm in Toronto without my stash. So I googled Camino and, landing on their website, was gratified to note that they’re based in Ottawa, just a ten minute stroll from my home. Unfortunately, their locator search function wasn’t working, so I emailed them instead, confessing to my unabashed fandom, asking where I could buy my fix, and suggesting we should talk.

Because, I explained, Informed Opinions serves a growing audience of highly intelligent, socially progressive, chocolate-craving women who are becoming more influential all the time. The likelihood of them sharing my affinity for fair trade, organic, flavanoid-boosting, caffeine-injecting morsels of mouth-watering goodness, the production of which supports 39,500 family farmers, seemed pretty high.

Six months, several delightful conversations (and about 3 dozen high quality chocolate bars) later (I limit myself to four small squares a day, but it adds up), I’m thrilled to announce that participants in all of Informed Opinions programming in the coming months will be treated to their own mid-workshop energy boost, courtesy of Camino. This in-kind contribution to the project is a recognition of our shared aims of building vibrant, sustainable communities.

Word cloud generated from more than 100 op eds written by Informed Ops "grads" and posted on our website.

Word cloud generated from more than 100 op eds written by Informed Ops “grads” and posted on our website.

Although the more than 800 women who’ve now participated in our workshops are extremely diverse, professionally and personally, it’s clear from the issues that they address in the media commentary they do coming out of our training that their values reflect many of those articulated by Camino.  It’s no coincidence that after “women” and “Canada”, the most prominent words are that appear in the op eds written by our grads include “community” and “public”.

Now all I have to do is find a safe place to store the chocolate bars that Camino is supplying to Informed Opinions for its workshop participants in Fredericton, Calgary, Toronto, Winnipeg — and maybe a city near you? (so that they don’t disappear under mysterious, if predictable circumstances!)

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