When local chocolate maker Katelyn and pastry chef Damaris combined their passions of chocolate, Fair Trade, and helping others, The POMM (Product of My Mind), LLC was born.
“We decided to start our own chocolate making business, creating chocolate straight from the cacao bean,” said Damaris. “We felt we could make a unique contribution to the food industry, using products that were not only Fair Trade and organic, but also offer a variety of goods that no other company could offer.”
The POMM’s chocolate products are a creative spin on the simple flavors of traditional Mexican cuisine, inspired by the cooking of Damaris’ grandmother. Damaris and Katelyn roast, grind, and refine cacao beans to make 10 pound micro-batches of chocolate.
“By making everything on a small scale, we are able to preserve the integrity of our products,” said Damaris. “We use the chocolate to make chocolate bars, truffles, Mexican drinking chocolate, and authentic mole poblano sauces. And instead of disposing of the cacao shells, we use them to make cacao infused teas.”
To gain the skills necessary to successfully launch The POMM, Damaris attended Mi Casa’s Business Success class. After graduating, she enrolled in Mi Casa’s Greater Good Academy to learn how to use triple bottom line principles to make her business more efficient and environmentally friendly, while giving back to the community.
Currently employing two young adults with autism, Damaris and Katelyn plan to hire more special needs individuals as their business grows.
The POMM operates and sells its bean-to-bar chocolate out of the indoor Denver Urban Homesteading Market. Products are also available for purchase at a variety of Denver Metro locations, including local restaurants, specialty shops, and farmer’s markets, as well as the Denver Art Museum.
“Last year we mastered the craft of chocolate making,” said Damaris. “This year we plan to strengthen our company’s branding by developing a new brand image and product packaging, and expanding our marketing efforts.”
In the future, Damaris and Katelyn hope to open their own retail shop and develop direct relationships with cacao farms across Central and South America.
Damaris and Katelyn were recently approved for a $5,000 Kiva Zip loan to purchase a chocolate bean grinding machine to increase their capacity more than 250%. The loan will also be used to expand their marketing efforts and purchase a die mold to create chocolate boxes.
“Damaris and Katelyn are fully committed to creating a socially responsible business and giving back to the community,” said Mi Casa. “We strongly believe they will be very successful in their business efforts because they have demonstrated great passion, commitment and resourcefulness. And this loan will allow their business to reach its next level.”
If you would like to help fund or learn more about The POMM, LLC, please click here.