We believe in doing Good Works
Sweet Secrets Chocolate is committed to supporting the communities where we live and work. Giving where we can make a difference. Building others so they can make a difference. As women, and moms; sisters and friends, we are active participants in making our world a sweeter place.
Developing Life Skills & Feeding the Homeless
August 2015- Sometimes the best way to learn is through doing. On the job learning is what Sweet Secrets Chocolate will be offering students in the Vocational Education Department at Wheaton North High School. “We are so honored to be actively working with these students, counselors, and parents,” said Dede Barnicle, partner at Sweet Secrets Chocolate. “Being able to to develop skills and confidence in our young people is so important. These assets, along with hands on experience in a manufacturing setting, will hopefully lead to job placement or other opportunities for growth.” Students and their counselors assist in many different areas at Sweet Secrets Chocolate, including kitchen sanitation and prep, production, packaging and packing, and product development. Working in a chocolate manufacturing kitchen is pretty sweet. But what makes it even sweeter is the energy and happiness that comes from a group of smiling teens
October 2016 – Sweet Secrets Chocolate, together with Wheaton North High School students who focus on community service, and DuPage PADS, have engaged in a project to assemble and distribute meals to area homeless shelters. Students raise money, purchase needed items, and prepare meals at Sweet Secrets manufacturing facility. Once the meals are prepared, officials from DuPage PADS transport the meals to area homeless shelters. “We are blessed with a beautiful facility for making meals. It is amazing to watch our kitchen be transformed into a center for community action,” said Dede Barnicle. This program brings joy and life to many.
Mentoring Tomorrows Leaders
January 2017 -Sweet Secrets Chocolate is pleased to introduce Katelyn Skifano as this year’s Entrepreneurial Internship recipient. Ms. Skifano is a senior at Wheaton Academy in West Chicago. The Entrepreneurial Internship program at Sweet Secrets is an intensive program that focuses on learning how to bring a product from idea to market in a matter of a few short weeks. Consumer research, material acquisition, cost analysis, package design, labeling, manufacturing procedures, and marketing are all covered while working on a real product. Proceeds from the sale of the Intern’s product are donated to an organization that is researched and selected by the intern.
Ms. Skifano’s end product, Cocoa To Go, featured a collection of 4 cocoa servings, mini marshmallows, peppermint pieces, and animal crackers; packaged in an adorable little mini pail with handle. “Katelyn developed such a cute little product that we ended up building upon this concept and introduced an entire line of ‘Lil Munchie Buckets’,” adds Terri Kinney, partner at Sweet Secrets Chocolate. “We were able to pilot her product in a real life selling environment and it did great”. Proceeds from the “Cocoa To Go” benefited the Heart Health program of the Edward Foundation. “Reinforcing the importance of doing good works with our time and talents will hopefully encourage this practice in our future business leaders”.
Supporting our Communities
March 2017- Several times a year, Sweet Secrets Chocolate donates an Extra Large Chocolate Pretzel Pizza for live auctions to benefit various community agencies. “We try to keep track of how much money is raised from auctioning off one of our big chocolate pretzel pizzas”, says Terri Kinney, partner at Sweet Secrets Chocolate. “I believe the record is $600 paid by a partygoer for a physical rehabilitation foundation” This spring Sweet Secrets provided a large chocolate pretzel pizza for auction at the local Fireman’s Ball. Proceeds from the auction went to the Hundred Club of DuPage County, which provides benefits for firefighters and police officers who get injured or die in the line of duty. “After all is said and done, we were able to donate $3,250 to the Hundred Club of DuPage County,” said Tim Cicero of the Carol Stream Fire Department. A very successful and purposeful evening.”
Here are a few of the other organizations supported by Sweet Secrets Chocolate:
Charlier Hospice House
Visiting Nurse Association
Family Shelter Service
DuPage PADS Homeless Shelters
Edward Healthcare Foundation