Let There Be Chocolate


Q:  What do chocolate and roller derby have in common? A:  Keli KaPOWsk8s.

My 7 year old niece tells people I work at Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.  And while that may not be true, you could say I’m a bad ass Umpa Lumpa (minus the orange face and green hair).  I do in fact work for the largest chocolate manufacturer in the world – Barry Callebaut.  While you won’t find our chocolate on the shelves of most stores, you all have probably eaten one of products in a dessert at a restaurant.

I work in the North American headquarters located in River North Chicago and am a member of the marketing team.  Our office looks like most offices, except we have a Chocolate Academy.  Chefs from all over the country come to take chocolate classes and watch demonstrations.  I have taken a few classes, but I am definitely not a fantastic baker.  It is true that I get my fair share of free chocolate, and instead of cooking with it, I just eat it.

Most days I come to work and think about roller derby.  In between spreadsheets and meetings, I read Derby Life and chat with fellow teammates about upcoming practice and bouts.  One of the really great parts of my job is chocolate tasting.  One of my responsibilities is to launch new products, and of course we have to do thorough testing.  So there are some days that consist of a lot of eating – and it’s great to go to practice and burn off all of the calories I have consumed. 


While my job can be stressful and sometimes involve spreadsheets and number crunching, I am also lucky to work in such a fun and creative environment.  It is always easier to market and sell something as delicious as chocolate.

By Keli KaPOWsk8s