Volume XII, Issue 29: February 14, 2014

The Alex Report
Our Rotary Exchange Student from France, Alex Rialet, told us that he attended the last AHS basketball game he will see this season. He also said that he is persevering in his effort to help his host dad (Craig Reed) learn to love tolerate vegetables. “You’re a good influence on him,” President Jessica remarked. She also noted that Alex attended a recent Crab Feed hosted by the Fortuna Sunrise Rotary, and he even helped out with the clean-up (see picture).

President Jessica said that Charter Night, which took place earlier in the week, was quite a success. Everyone had a great time at the Ingomar Club, and she thanked Rina Brodhag, Terri Clark, and Janice Newman for putting the event together, and Matt Babich for securing the venue.

If you would like to donate to the STEPS project to help kids in Botswana and nearby countries beat clubfoot, you can make your check payable to the RCAS Community Foundation. We will hold your funds until the grant is applied for and approved.

We are close to selling out the March 8th Pirates’ Ball Spring Fundraiser. Keep checking in with organizations or businesses to give them the opportunity to support their community by purchasing a table or individual tickets. 

If you haven’t marked Saturday, April 4th on your calendar yet, be sure to fill the box with the District Assembly. The training session/fellowship event will take place in Ukiah at Mendocino College. For more information, see President Jessica.

On Saturday, April 19th, you are invited to participate in the Mad River Clean-Up Work Day, followed by the Earth Day Volunteer Hoe Down at the Friends of the Dunes headquarters in Samoa.

We had members of the North Bay Rotaract Club with us last Friday, selling Cake Pops for Valentines Day. They were yummy – don’t miss them next year!

We heard lotsa love songs last Friday, as two groups of Valentunes performers showed up to serenade us. Valentunes are an annual fundraiser for the ARMACK Orchestra and the Arcata High School Madrigal Choir. This year’s Sunrise Rotary connections? One group included our Outbound Exchange Student for the coming year – Sylvie Leppig, while Rotary “Kid” Brody Johnson was part of the second crew.  Click on the links below to watch (and hear) their performances:

Sylvie Leppig, Melissa Perrett, Hannah Jimenez, Rika Hosaki, and Kaylee Steiner-Olsen

From Wood to Chocolate
There is no “Dick Taylor” at Dick Taylor Chocolates. The name is a combination of the two owners – Adam Dick and Dustin Taylor. The two men were working together as carpenters and woodworkers when they decided to make something else by hand. 

Adam Dick

Making chocolate began as a hobby, and they kept refining the process, working toward an ever improved product, using nothing but fine ingredients. Eventually, Dustin and Adam put forward their chocolate to the public. For two years, they kept their day jobs, working on chocolate only on Mondays, evenings, and on the occasional weekend. 

About two years ago, they participated in the Northwest Chocolate Festival in Seattle, and they
realized that they had reached a critical point. On the 10-hour drive back from Washington, the duo decided to begin a slow transition to full-time chocolate makers and to focus on quality as the benchmark for their product.

Adam and Dustin learned how to grade cacao beans, which is critical since, “if the beans are poor, you’ll never make great chocolate”. It is an intense process, according to Adam, but rewarding. In 2013, they returned to the Northwest Chocolate Festival, and their 72% Belize Torido won the Bronze Award in the Single Origin Dark category. 

The team is at another crossroads. Since the demand for their product outstrips the supply, they need to increase production. But they want to ensure that both their product and their customer service (and their engagement with customers) remain at a high level. They are looking at purchasing equipment that will increase the amount of chocolate produced in a 48-hour cycle from 60 pounds to 880 pounds. Adam said that even at that production level, they will still be considered a small scale producer in the industry.

For more information, visit their website.