KALAMAZOO—A chocolatier and founder of a gourmet chocolate shop will be the next presenter in a speaker series at Western Michigan University focusing on entrepreneurship.
Dale Anderson, owner of Confections with Convictions, a Kalamazoo-based artisanal chocolate store dedicated to hiring young workers with criminal records, will speak at 8 a.m. Friday, Jan. 10, in 2150 Schneider Hall, as part of the Haworth College of Business Entrepreneurship Forum. The event is free and open to the public and begins with breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Reservations are required and can be made by calling (269) 387-6059 or at wmich.edu/business/e-rsvp. Free parking is available in the nearby Fetzer Center parking lot.
Before starting Confections with Convictions, Anderson was a private practice counselor for more than eight years, working with youth involved with the Juvenile Drug Treatment Court in Kalamazoo. While counseling, it became apparent to Anderson that talk therapy was often not enough to penetrate the barriers commonly put up by the youth he worked with each day.
With that in mind, Anderson began thinking of a more effective way to reach the young people. After purchasing a box of artisanal chocolates, Anderson came up with a sweet idea: open his own chocolate shop where he could provide court-involved youth with a chance to start over through hands-on work experience.
After three years of mastering the art of gourmet chocolate at the French Pastry School in Chicago and the Chocolate Cooking School in Los Angeles, Anderson opened the doors of Confections with Convictions in 2010. With a focus on environmental stewardship through ingredient and packaging choices, Anderson and his employees have crafted over 200,000 pieces of chocolate and truffles and continue to serve sweet confections made by workers with inspiring stories in the Kalamazoo community.
For more information about the speaker series, visit wmich.edu/business/entrepreneurship-forum or call (269) 387-6059.
2013-14 Entrepreneurship Forum dates and speakers
- Feb. 14: Steve Hartmeier, president and CEO of Vestaron
- March 14: Amy Proos, owner and CEO of Proos Manufacturing