Press Release by Big Heavy World. Photos courtesy Lake Champlain Chocolates.

Lake Champlain Chocolates Supports Sweet Sound of Vermont-Made Music

BURLINGTON Lake Champlain Chocolates, the handcrafted, gourmet chocolate manufacturer based in Burlington, VT, has contributed a $500 grant in support of Big Heavy World’s Tour Van Program. The funds will help maintain and insure a Ford passenger van that is loaned to Vermont musicians when transportation is needed to bring their original music to audiences beyond the state’s borders.

Meghan Fitzpatrick, Communications Specialist of Lake Champlain Chocolates said, “As a family-owned company that has thrived by valuing our local community, we are delighted to support this resource for Vermont musicians. Thank you, Big Heavy World, for taking the initiative to help Vermont share even more of what makes it so special.”
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Big Heavy World is an independent, volunteer-run nonprofit dedicated to preserving and promoting the music of Vermont. The van program is a natural extension of their community and economic development work in the state; the organization seeks to provide resources that help Vermont-based artists ‘help themselves.’ The first van of the program was donated by Good News Garage. The current third van was donated by the University of Vermont. The van program has served dozens of bands, of many genres, from Funkwagon to Kat Wright & The Indomitable Soul Band to Myra Flynn to The Red Summer Sun and Better Things. For more information, visit http://www.bigheavyworld.com/vt-musician-resource/cooperative-tour-van/

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Lake Champlain Chocolates has a long history of engaging their community. Since their founding in 1983 the company has sourced ingredients from area farmers, creating superior products by going authentically local long before it became a national trend. They also exemplify the D.I.Y. (‘do it yourself’) outlook, keeping their own bees, developing products ‘from bean to bar,’ and working directly with cacao farmers in Guatemala and the Dominican Republic. This localism and entrepreneurial spirit aligns with Big Heavy World’s. Lake Champlain Chocolates contributes annually to non-profit organizations and programs; in fiscal year 2015, that contribution was 7% of pre-tax profits, supporting organizations whose focus is on the arts, education, and sustainable agriculture.

About Lake Champlain Chocolates: A pioneer in the American chocolate movement, Lake Champlain Chocolates is a family-owned company located in Burlington, Vermont. In 1983, Jim Lampman declared he would create upscale American chocolates that would “rival the Belgians.”  More than 30 years later, the Lampman family has done just that, by introducing European flavors and tastes using local, Vermont ingredients and by taking a craftsman’s approach to chocolate: creativity, patience and mastery. This level of care and craft leads to chocolates that win high praise, year after year, from customers and industry experts alike. As a Fair for Life – Social and Fair Trade Certified Company, LCC uses fair trade chocolate and is committed to using non-GMO ingredients. Lake Champlain Chocolates are hand made by people who are passionate about their work; products include chocolate bars, including the best-selling Five Star Bars, truffles, caramels, gift assortments and gourmet hot chocolate and are available online, nationwide at specialty food and gift stores, such as Whole Foods Market, upscale hotels and inns, and at their three company-owned stores in Vermont. http://www.lakechamplainchocolates.com Contact Meghan Fitzpatrick, 802-264-2146, mfitzpatrick@lakechamplainchocolates.com

About Big Heavy World: Founded in 1996, Big Heavy World is an independent, volunteer-staffed music office with a mission of preserving and promoting original Vermont-made music. It operates diverse programs — many that are collaborative — serving musicians of all genres inclusively across the state. http://www.bigheavyworld.com. Contact James Lockridge, Big Heavy World, (802) 865-1140, jim@bigheavyworld.com

Red-Summer-SunPhoto: The Big Heavy World Tour Van, ‘HEAVY3,’ got Vermont-based The Red Summer Sun to Providence, RI; Hamden, CT; and Poughkeepsie, NY in 2016. Photo courtesy The Red Summer Sun.