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Buy Artisanal Chocolate, Help a Good Cause

Zlatina BalevaFive years ago, a birthday present that should have included a laidback chocolate tour in Belgium accidentally became a grueling ten-month online course in professional chocolate-making. Stanimira Georgieva rose to the challenge.

Stanimira was trained as a mathematician and served as the HR manager of a large bank at the time, but she had always loved good chocolate. So, the daytime executive turned apprentice at night, writing essays on chocolate-making and making countless attempts at melting and mixing the ingredients right, failing, and throwing away tens of pounds of chocolate. Eventually, her persistence paid off, she earned her chocolatier certification, and the orders started rolling in. It was time to stow away the executive’s suits and stock up on chef’s uniforms: Stanimira Chocolate House was born.

The accidental gift also allowed Stanimira to devote herself to her other calling, helping people. Stanimira Chocolate House employs individuals with disabilities and regularly partners with other social enterprises and NGOs. Stanimira runs in charity marathons and is a volunteer lecturer in the Business Achievements for Social Entrepreneurship program of the America for Bulgaria Foundation.

Stanimira’s exquisite chocolate can be bought online, but if you are in Sofia, Zlatina Baleva, program officer in Private Sector Development at ABF, strongly urges you to visit Stanimira’s workshop at 42 Serdika Street. Zlatina took a chocolate-making class and loved it.

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