BCDS has named entrepreneur Alex Whitmore’95 (Taza Chocolate) the recipient of the 2010 Outstanding Young Alumni Award. This award recognizes a graduate within the last twenty years who has shown outstanding performance, competence and achievement in a professional field and/or volunteer commitment.
Announcing the award Head of School Peter Hutton said, “In his career as founder and president of Taza Chocolate, Alex Whitmore has demonstrated a deep commitment to social responsibility. The award committee commends his dedication to making a difference in his sustainable business model.”
Alex studied anthropology at Vassar College and worked as fleet manager for Zipcar in its startup phase. He launched Taza in 2006 to manufacture and market the artisanal chocolate products that he had come to appreciate in travel to Central America. At Taza’s factory, located near Somerville’s resurgent in Union Square, organic fair trade beans are roasted, stone-ground, refined and molded using traditional processes. The products are wrapped and packed by hand and distributed to retail and wholesale customers across the country and internationally. Featured in publications like Gourmet and Food and Wine, Taza Chocolate has found favor with some of America’s preeminent chefs, most notably Alice Waters (Chez Panisse).
The company’s commitment to sustainability extends from its ingredients to its use of recycled packing materials, energy-efficient lighting and machinery, and bike delivery to local customers. The company’s website states that, “All of the byproducts of the production process can be recycled, reused, or composted.” For example, Taza donates its used cacao shells for landscaping mulch.
Alex employs Beaver classmate Mike Schechter ’95 as one of his master chocolate makers.