Meet the Producer: Jackie Ekholm
Owner, Organic Children’s Chocolate/Moo Chocolateuser rating
Every summer while her children were young, Jackie Ekholm would pack up and bring the kids to Switzerland for the summer to visit family—and she’d be sure to bring an empty suitcase to fill with her favorite Swiss chocolates for her return. The revelation to start her own chocolate company came when one of her sons asked why she brought so much chocolate back each year. She explained it was because the chocolates from Switzerland were made with real foods and wholesome ingredients, and no dyes or preservatives, whereas the chocolates geared towards kids in the States were filled with unfamiliar ingredients.
This explanation sparked the idea to start a chocolate business. After much research, in 2009 Ekholm founded Organic Children’s Chocolate and created the Moo line: four tasty whole-grain chocolate bars with brown rice crisps, corn flakes, handmade granola and graham crackers. Enlisting her childrens’ help, the family came up with the Moo name based on their shared love for cows and delicious creamy Swiss chocolate. Today Moo organic, whole-milk chocolate bars are sold in stores throughout the country, sharing the love of purely delicious chocolate with kids and adults alike.—Denise Shoukas
Jackie Ekholm shares more with foodspring.com
Do you still bring suitcases full of chocolate home from Switzerland?
I don’t need to anymore. But I do still have a few bars that I love to bring home from time to time. The milk in Europe tastes different, hence so does the milk chocolate.
How did you learn to make such high-quality chocolate?
We eat so much chocolate so we knew what we liked and how to recognize great quality. And Fritz Knipschildt of Chocopologie, a fabulous chocolatier, helped guide me in the world of making delicious chocolates.
What’s your favorite product in your line? What are your kids’ favorites?
My favorite is the corn flake. It’s my go-to bar. I love the crunchy flakes and that it has a tiny bit of sea salt that balances the sweetness. As for the kids, they like all of them. I’m trying to put a lock on the Moo supply door so my children and their friends will stop eating all the Moo bars.
Who is your culinary idol and why?
One of my favorites is Jamie Oliver. He has fabulous recipes—all real food—and I love that he is trying to bring better real food to schools in America. I have always only let my kids eat real food, not processed, no chemicals. Forget processed chicken fingers!
What’s your guilty food pleasure?
Chocolate every day. And I must have a piece of homemade pecan pie and ice cream once in a while. Ice cream often, pasta too often, and the list continues.
Best meal ever?
There are two best meals: In Normandy, France, Agneau Pre-sale. It’s lamb that grazes on salt-water fields during low tide at Mont St-Michel Bay. I was blown away by how delicious the meat is. And in Palermo, Sicily, where we spent a weekend eating with locals at restaurants. Fresh pastas, fresh fish—course after course was just fabulous.
Aside from your products, what three items can you always find in your kitchen?
Herbovare, a Swiss salt and herb mix; good olive oil; and lots of greens and veggies.