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shawn askinosie (all photos courtesy of askinosie)

2.1.11 The Ask: Shawn Askinosie

You may remember a post from a couple of months ago about a fantastic chocolate company, Askinosie. Not only do I love their chocolate, but I love what they stand for and how they give back. The Candy Man is a cultural icon—a jolly, twinkly-eyed fellow with a big heart and a fondness for children—and while Shawn Askinosie is nowhere near as eccentric as Willy Wonka, I do think he delights in the power of chocolate.About 10 years ago, Shawn's career as a criminal defense attorney began to exact too high a toll. He was arguing back-to-back murder cases, and you only have to watch so much Law & Order to know how stressful that would be. But he couldn't really see any way clear of it, so he began to pray that an alternative would reveal itself. At the same time, he tried distracting himself with cooking, which led to baking, which led to an obsession with cupcakes (which even led to a pilgrimage to New York's Magnolia Bakery). After about 5 years of this, he up and decided he was going to try his hand at making his own chocolate, from scratch. At the time, he had no concept of what this even meant, but within 2 months he was up to his elbows in cocoa beans in the Amazon. We should all be so bold.

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