WESTBROOK — The Good Food Foundation has singled Ragged Coast Chocolates for an award among 2,000 entries nationwide this year.

Ragged Coast Chocolates on Main Street was recognized with a 2021 Good Food Award for social and environmental responsibility and unique craftsmanship for their Cassis de Résistance Truffle.

Kate Shaffer, who owns the Ragged Coast (formerly Black Dinah Chocolatiers) with her husband, Steve, said the award-winning truffle was inspired by a neighbor who brought them some foraged black currants.

“We made a puree from them and created a special truffle and we loved it,” Shaffer said.

The truffle became a part of their Maine Farm Market Collection, which features chocolates with ingredients from Maine farms or gardens.

The company only sources their fruit for the Farm Market Collection when it’s in season, Shaffer said. They process the products immediately upon receiving them and freeze the purees for use during the rest of the year. They still have the Cassis de Résistance Truffle in stock, but she said they sell out every year.


Although most of the ingredients are locally sourced, arguably the most important aspect of their work must come from a bit farther away.

“Chocolate is an ingredient that is often grown in troublesome areas of the world, socially and politically,” Shaffer said. “From the very beginning, our criteria for sourcing our chocolate was to make sure we didn’t source from producers that use child or slave labor.”

Their mission first brought them to Venezuela, then to a producer in Ecuador, where the cocoa is directly sourced from the farmers.

“The biggest political statement we can make sometimes is what we put on our plates,” Shaffer said. “The money that we spend on our ingredients, we want as much of it as possible to stay in our local community because that helps everybody, and strong communities that grow good food and support each other are better off.”

The Good Food Foundation, based out of San Francisco, gave out 266 awards to recipients in 45 states, the District of Columbia and Guam. Beginning in 2010, the awards recognize food-based companies in 17 categories, ranging from pickles to coffee.

Winners gain access to exclusive use of the Good Food Awards Winner seal on their websites and packaging and a lifelong network of Good Food crafters to connect with.


Other winners include Maine Beer Company in Freeport, which entered its Prince Percy Pilsner and Wolfe’s Neck IPA, and Saco-based Atlantic Sea Farms for its Fermented Seaweed Salad.

Prior to the pandemic, winners had the chance to sell their products to wholesale buyers and members of the public when the foundation held a Good Food Awards weekend each January. The ceremony of winners was held virtually Jan. 22 this year.

Business owners can pitch their products to a live audience of specialty food buyers online through Feb. 12. The Good Food Awards marketplace pop-up shop is open to the public on the foundation’s website through Feb. 7.

Brielle Hardy — 207-780-9018


Twitter: @BrielleHardy3

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