The idea for Joe Chocolate Co. began in an undergraduate class project at the University of Washington but our business really took shape when our buddy, Lucas, set foot on the Pacific Crest Trail. About 300 miles into Lucas' hike he sent us a text. He was loving the scenery, the people, the physical and mental challenges, but really missed having his daily cup of joe.
Determined to satiate his need for caffeine (and food), we started started turning our business-school idea into the perfect hiking snack: lightweight, all natural, caffeine-rich, and packaged so it could couldn't melt into his expensive hiking gear. What comes next (as we’re sure you’ve guessed), is the inception of our signature coffee-infused chocolate.
It didn’t take long before we realized that handmade, naturally caffeinated dark chocolate is a crowd pleaser. Whether you’re a thru-hiker walking 2,700-miles up the West Coast, a college student studying for finals, a parent shuttling kids to and from after-school activities, or a nurse working the night shift, a little bit of Joe can go a long way.
In just a few years we have grown from a two-man operation, making chocolate after hours in the back of Spud Fish-n-Chips, to an ever growing team with a wholesale operation in South Seattle and a retail shop and factory in Pike Place Market. Despite the growth and change, we’re still a group of friends who love good food, great conversation, and spending time outdoors (what can we say, we’re from the Pacific Northwest)!
In 2018 we decided it was time to give back to the community that helped us create our business: The thru-hiker dirtbags on the PCT. In honor of Lucas, we formed the Caveman Dirtbag Sponsorship (his trail name was Caveman). The C.D.S. is a collaborative sponsorship that aims to support and energize wild ambitions in the great outdoors. In our first year of the C.D.S., we worked with Lighthouse Roasters and Patagonia Seattle to sponsor two hikers on their Northbound thru-hike.
We had so much fun in the first year of the C.D.S. that we decided year two had to be even bigger and better. In 2019 we partnered with eight co-sponsors, received applications from over 100 prospective hikers from all ages groups from all over the world. In the end we selected four dirtbags who received cash, food, gear, and equipment shipped to them in eight care packages along the trail. If you or someone you know is interested in hiking the PCT but feels restricted by money or resources, apply to be the CDS! Application opens early Spring 2020.
Have fun out there!
-Sam, Peter, & The Joe Chocolate Co.
P.S. Lucas/Caveman is alive and well. That badass dude is living in Washington with his girlfriend who he met on the Pacific Crest Trail. Since 2016 he has hiked the Pacific Northwest Trail, portions of the Continental Divide, and he plans to hike an alternate route of the Continental Divide in Spring of 2020.