Director of SustainabilityGuittard Chocolate
John Kehoe is the director of sustainability at California’s Guittard Chocolate Company. Kehoe is a specialty-cocoa veteran, having worked in importing and exporting, sourcing programs, and many other facets of the industry. He started his adventure in cocoa in 1991, when he helped create a cocoa exporting company in Venezuela and served as managing director and partner. From there Kehoe moved to the Dominican Republic to join ED&F Man Cocoa; he managed their cocoa exporting operation for about two and a half years. He moved back to the U.S. and started his own specialty cocoa brokerage in 2002 called EcoTrade. At that time there was really no company in the U.S. specializing in specialty cocoa—it was a brand-new term. Kehoe ran EcoTrade in different forms from 2002 to 2008, and was able to pioneer unique, high-quality cocoa that was direct-trade fashion, and market it to the up-and-coming U.S. gourmet chocolate industry. He had the opportunity to join one of his clients, TCHO, in 2008. He helped build the TCHOSource program, bringing technology and innovation to origin and rewarding farmers on the basis of quality and flavor. In April of 2014, Kehoe joined Guittard Chocolate Company as director of sustainability. They are building a sustainability platform based on quality and relationships, which Guittard is so good at as a family-owned business.