Last Friday, we had our sweetest team outing ever. The KWSM Team spent a couple of hours at the ChocXO chocolate factory in Irvine, California to celebrate Nick and Natalie’s KWSM workiversaries!
At KWSM, it’s tradition to celebrate our coworkers’ workiversaries every year with a special team outing. Katie truly values loyalty and a commitment to what we do, and feels that dedicating a year to our team is worth commemorating each year. Both Nick and Natalie are invaluable to our team, and to have had Nick for two years and Natalie for a full year here has made such a difference to KWSM.
Nick is our in-house photographer and videographer. He’s the one responsible for making us look good in our Tip Of The Day videos and for making our clients look absolutely stellar on camera. It can feel awkward being filmed, but trust me, if you work with Nick, you’ll feel comfortable during the shoot and excited to see how the finished product turns out.
Natalie is Katie’s executive assistant, and pretty much the reason why our office runs as smooth as it does. I’m not quite sure what we’d do without her, and having her on our team for a year is definitely something to celebrate. Nick and Natalie are both so sweet and two seriously hardworking team members, so it only made sense to head out to a chocolate factory for their joint workiversaries!
We started off our visit with an educational tour that guided us through the chocolate making process from cacao bean to chocolate bar. Our ChocXO guide explained that cacao beans came from large bean pods about the size of footballs and that it takes an entire bean pod to make a single bar of chocolate. We also learned how chocolate is picked, fermented, and dried, before viewing ChocXO’s chocolate factory and learning the different roles of the factory machines.
The most interesting part of the tour was getting to sample cacao in its different stages. Raw cacao pulp is sweet and tangy, but has the consistency of saliva, as our guide brightly pointed out after we had finished sipping our samples. To our extreme disappointment, the cocoa nibs and cocoa liquor we tasted were as bitter as beer and tasted nothing like chocolate. Some of my team enjoyed the samples, but I decided I didn’t need that kind of negativity in my life. Talk about a bitter disappointment. Finally, we ended the tour with liquid dark chocolate shots from the factory wall.
To end the tour on an even sweeter note, we were able to choose three filled chocolates of our choice from behind the ChocXO chocolate case. There were gourmet flavors like Salted Hazelnut Milk Chocolate, Lemon Meringue Dark Chocolate, and Birthday Cake White Chocolate. I tried the Aztec Dark Chocolate, Vanilla Chai Milk Chocolate, and Spicy PB & J Milk Chocolate truffles! The overall team consensus was that the finished product was definitely worth the wait.
Thanks for having us, ChocXO!
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