Chocolate Maven Jean Thompson Making a Social Impact, One Bar at a Time

Chocolate Maven Jean Thompson Making a Social Impact, One Bar at a Time

June 13, 2023 : Seattle Chocolate Co., a renowned producer of chocolate bars and truffles, faced a significant setback a decade after its establishment when the destructive 2001 Nisqually Earthquake left its manufacturing facility in ruins. However, the company found a savior in entrepreneur and investor Jean Thompson, who took charge as owner and CEO. Under Thompson’s leadership, Seattle Chocolate underwent a remarkable transformation, emerging as a thriving business with a strong focus on sustainability and social responsibility.

One notable initiative that Thompson implemented was the commitment to donate 10% of Seattle Chocolate’s net profits to Girls Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering young girls and providing them with equal opportunities to pursue their passions and build a bright future. This philanthropic endeavor reflects Thompson’s dedication to fostering positive change and making a meaningful impact on society.

In 2012, Thompson expanded the company’s reach by founding jcoco Chocolate, a subsidiary brand under the Seattle Chocolate umbrella. At its core, jcoco aimed to combat hunger by donating fresh servings of food to those in need. Through strategic partnerships with food banks in Washington, California, and New York, jcoco has donated nearly four million food servings, highlighting the brand’s commitment to addressing food insecurity in local communities.

Thompson’s journey to becoming a prominent figure in the chocolate industry began in New England, where she grew up. After graduating from Bates College, she embarked on a career in the high-tech sector while simultaneously raising her two children in Bellevue, Washington. Thompson’s involvement in nonprofit work eventually led her to assume ownership of Seattle Chocolate Company. Throughout her tenure, she has evolved from a skilled marketer to a visionary business leader driven by a profound sense of purpose.

Thompson’s passion for her work is evident in her commitment to elevating the chocolate industry through innovation, consumer education, and empowering customers to contribute to positive change through purchases. Recognizing the ubiquitous nature of chocolate in American households, Thompson emphasizes the potential for widespread impact by incorporating sustainability practices into the industry.

Despite the challenges of balancing her roles as owner, CEO, and mother, Thompson emphasizes the importance of self-care and maintaining a healthy work-life balance. She acknowledges the fulfillment she derives from her responsibilities and cherishes the continuous learning and growth opportunities that come with each new day.

Reflecting on her journey, Thompson offers valuable advice to those seeking to align their careers with their life purpose. She encourages young individuals to explore various job opportunities and expose themselves to different industries, as it enables them to discover their true passions and strengths. Thompson emphasizes that finding one’s life purpose is gradual and advises against placing unnecessary pressure or strict timelines on this self-discovery.

Jean Thompson’s inspiring story is a testament to the transformative power of purpose-driven leadership. Through her unwavering dedication to sustainability, social responsibility, and empowering others, Thompson has positioned Seattle Chocolate and jcoco Chocolate as beacons of positive change within the chocolate industry and beyond.