Chocolate is something that makes me, and I suspect a lot of you, feel good any day of the week. But this is Feel Good Friday so we can't just talk about chocolate, we're going to talk about chocolate with a purpose!
A recent article in the Christian Science Monitor's People Making a Difference series profiled Dale Anderson and his chocolate shop in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Confections with Convictions. (You can read the full article here.)
Dale is a counselor who works with juveniles involved in the court system, a licensed builder, and now, after years of training, a chocolatier. What makes his chocolate shop so special is that he hires young people whose felony convictions make it difficult for them to find employment.
He wanted to find a way to help the youth he was counseling become productive members of society. The idea of the chocolate shop was inspired by the play on words in the name, Confections with Convictions. Not only would he employ young people with convictions, the shop operate with the following convictions (taken from the website):
Since Confections with Convictions opened in 2010, 12 teens have fulfilled their community service by working at the store and 5 have gone on to other careers.
To learn more you can watch this short video to see Dale and some of his employees, read an article about the shop on the Huffington Post and like their Facebook page to hear the latest news.
Of course, if you're ever in Kalamazoo, stop by the store and pickup some chocolate so that you can feel, smell and taste the goodness!