Blue Bandana Chocolate Maker is an award-winning line of single-origin chocolates created by Eric Lampman, head of R&D at Lake Champlain Chocolates and son of founder Jim Lampman. Eric’s work with Blue Bandana reflects his desire to go deeper into the chocolate-making process, to forge direct-trade partnerships with growers and co-ops, and to improve cocoa quality by reinvesting in training and education at origin. It all began in 2009 when Eric visited the Dominican Republic and experienced how cacao is grown and processed. He brought some beans back to Vermont and started experimenting with small test roasts, and learning how to winnow, refine, and conche. He recalls that “I more or less grew up at Lake Champlain Chocolates, so there was a natural level of interest and familiarity with chocolate. Then after joining the R&D team, I learned a ton about the art of confection making and the science behind great chocolate. But one day I realized that after 25 years, I’d never visited origin to see first-hand how cocoa is produced.” To learn more about Blue Bandana products, visit www.lakechamplainchocolates.com.