Episode 22: Kim Wilson of Good King Snacking Cacao

Description: From Mrs. Field's cookie-fame dreams to social corporate responsibility and on-the-ground commodity disruption, Kim Wilson has found her place in the innovative space of CPG food products utilizing cocoa beans with the new product Good King Snacking Cacao. Coming off of a 2017 Good Food Award for their 'Harmony' creation, Kim shares with us in this Well Tempered podcast episode her journey towards considering how to turn back the supply & value chain, and trailblaze a new category. She is based in Seattle, Washington and travels often to meet and train her sourcing partners in Indonesia and Honduras. 

Kim Wilson Co-founder of Good King Snacking Cacao, photo credit: Kim Wilson

Kim Wilson Co-founder of Good King Snacking Cacao, photo credit: Kim Wilson

Themes discussed in this episode: 
- Moving from wine sales/marketing to cocoa
- Kim's path to understanding where cocoa farming was at the time, and where the gaps were
- Good King launched on realization 'we have to move the supply chain back' 
- How snacking cacao differs from cocoa nibs
- Roasting cocoa beans after the shell has been removed
- Why it's difficult for many origin regions to compete in chocolate making; lack of infrastructure, burden of weather patterns unfit for production, and missing market related to population or geography (competitive quadrant from her MBA) 
- Struggles of this new category; FDA processing and licensing, customers thinking cocoa beans are coffee beans
- What else can be done with cacao, where will innovation go? 
- Finding affinity with cheese, the "savory version of milk chocolate" 

Good King's pieces of innovation: 

  • Move supply chain back

  • Make use for the smaller beans usually not requested by other chocolate makers

  • Targeting certain cacao hybrids

  • Let women lead; skills/dexterity of their hands, interest in the work, taking them out of potentially harmful scenarios, planting the seed for other entrepreneurial ventures

  • Agricultural processor vs. Food processor and pioneering the groundwork for entry into the US

  • Save time, invest locally; keep more of the manufacturing elements in country without decreasing nutrients of the raw bean or using up energy sources for processing


Where to find Kim and Good King: 
Good King Website (20% off online purchases available to WT listeners, enter wtpodcast at checkout): 
Facebook: Good King Cacao
Instagram: @GoodKingCacao
Youtube: Good King Snacking Cacao channel 

Don't miss Kim's acceptance speech for the 2017 Good Food Award in February 2018 in San Francisco on behalf of the Confections Category. Click to watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lqm8lrUiYEE

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