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Minutes: The One with the Chocolate! (03/06/2013)

March 9, 2013
President David Velarde called the meeting to order.
Invocation: Diana Cecala
Pledge: Graham Guess
Raffle: Liz Werhane brought 24 chocolates from Chocolats du Cali Bressan and gift certificates for two people to do a chocolate tasting there.
Visiting Rotarians: Tom from Seattle

  • The golf tournament will be May 20. We’re looking for raffle items and volunteers.
  • You can still sign up to volunteer at RYLA sign ups.
  • Janet Napier announced that members of the Goleta club are taking a trip to San Luis Obispo on an antique train. It’s March 16, and 5 tickets are still available at $75 each. Contact Christine Lebon.
  • Susan Klein-Rothschild announced the Community Service meeting will be March 12 at 5:30 PM.
  • Tom Heath brought copies of a newsletter from CDCA, which mentions partner Rotarians.
  • The club celebrates its 28th anniversary today. It was founded in 1985.
  • David Velarde gave charter member pins to remaining charter members. 16 past presidents are currently in the club.
  • Steve Kally hosted a vocational mixer. Members enjoyed it.
  • The rendezvous will be at El Paseo on Thursday at 5:30 PM.
  • It’s Oreo cookie day.
  • We sang happy birthday to Rotary and members!
  • TV theme trivia: “Get Smart.” Scott Johnson won.
  • Raffle raised $102. Guest Tom won.

Program: Darren Doi introduced our speaker, Jill-Marie Carre of Chocolats du Cali Bressan.

  • Her husband and co-owner is Jean-Michel Carre.
  • Cali Bressan name came from the restaurant the couple ran in France that combined California and Bress (of France). When they came back to the U.S., they wanted customers to still be able to find them. Their restaurant was in Burgundy.
  • Jean-Michel began his culinary training at age 15. He grew up on a farm.
  • After many years running the restaurant in France, she missed the sun. They returned to California and opened their shop and factory in Carpinteria. They also opened a shop in Santa Barbara, in La Arcada, nearly 2 years ago.
  • The two best sellers are Bisous and Buddha Beauty with a soft caramel center.
  • They value love, passion and creativity.
  • Candy molds all come from Europe. They are polycarbonate. They don’t use the silicone ones you see in kitchen stores. Cleaning the molds is surprisingly complicated.
  • No preservatives in their chocolates. They make them all by hand and fresh. The shelf life is generally less 1 month.
  • All cocoa beans come from 20 degrees north and south of equator. All chocolate is made from just three types of beans. Distinctions come from blends, freshness, process and recipes.
  • American taste preference is sweeter, and most chocolate providers add hydrogenated fats and remove some natural oils.
  • European chocolate tends to be less sweet than an American chocolate.
  • Bon Bon in French means anything sweet. A truffle came from the chocolates looking like truffle mushrooms. Truffles are all rolled.
  • Each chocolate takes 3 days to make.
  • They are looking for an apprentice for Jean-Michel. He generally does the work by himself, but he gets a little extra help at Valentine’s and Christmas.
  • They wholesale to other stores, restaurants, hotels, etc., but not to other chocolate shops.
  • They sell a 100% cocoa bar, too — no sugar, no cream, etc. People tend to purchase these for the antioxidant health benefits more often than for taste.
  • In honor of our speaker, 15 dictionaries will be donated to third graders in Santa Barbara.
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