Monday, September 26, 2011

Rox Chox is a real Rarity in so many ways

Today in my 'Global Perspectives on Modernity' class, we were discussing Marx's theory of alienation.  So many workers on this planet are trapped in jobs which are not at all related to who they really are.   Rox Chox is different.  My teacher said that Marx would approve, then qualified that with, 'well, actually, it's not really on a large enough scale.'  Well, maybe not yet, but sooner than we think, at this rate.

I wish I could hand out self-empowerment and self-employment like I can hand out chocolate samples.  Perhaps that will be a longer-term goal: Rox Chox Microlending.  For now, I am super duper happy with the smile on this sweet face:

That's our license!  River has been in Portland making Chox nonstop since we got it.  My heart is warmed.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Well, Happy Birthday to me!  Yesterday we were approved for food production in the new Raw Lab.

The Plumbing Inspector arrived just in time so that our friendly Heath Inspector Lisa could meet him and see his approval, and here is a picture of the two of them as Lisa signs our license! 

Good job River on putting the final touches to the Lab and charming the pants off of the officials. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Rox makes an Ashland connection

Whooo hoo!  Rox Chox will be available soon to the fine folks in Ashland, Oregon at the Ashland Food Coop!  The thrill of hearing another grocery buyer say, 'Yes, please' to our delicious chocolate just doesn't get old.

In other news, Rox and Chox are really grateful for student loans.  They are essentially paying for the creation of a small-scale raw food preparation space: tools of one arm of my social art practice.  Today I said to River, "by January, we'll be in the black!" and he said, "No, no, honey.  When you've paid yourself back all that you've invested, then you'll be in the black."  Finances are not my strong suit, but I sure don't have a problem letting go of them when it is a very good investment.  With our Raw Lab almost finished, our last big investments are coming up: a mold and labels.  And then a short little tiny bit later Rox Chox will be solidly in the black.  And all the happier for it.

The graduate seminar talk about Rox Chox went well, by the way.  People asked some clarifying questions, used the word 'delicious' more than a few times, and were impressed with the Fair Trade aspect especially.  One insightful question posed was, "how do you see your labor and the labor of those who are farming the cacao to be related?"  That is a great question, and at the time I talked about raising awareness for fair trade practices.  But really, although I haven't (yet) met the farmers of our cacao, coconut, vanilla, xylitol, and salt,  we are all collaborating.  I suppose I see this as a giant collaborative art project, synthesized in a tasty treat.  The project is finished when the smile is on the mouth that is savoring the result of all of our combined work. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Giving out Rox Samples at the UN Plaza Farmer's Market Birthday party Wednesday!

If you or someone you know is in San Francisco and wants to try some Rox Chox, look for us on Wednesday at the UN Plaza Farmer's Market, where we will be handing out Rox Chox samples and selling our bars! Happy Birthday, Farmer's Market SF!

Friday, September 2, 2011

First week of Grad School Rox Chox Check-in

Hello Chocolate lovers!  You may be happy to hear that San Francisco city life and Grad School are not stopping Rox Chox production.  In fact, the tines intertwine and they are mutually inspiring.  With Sage competently holding the business reins and River manning the Chocolate Lab, I am free to think about art.  And what do I find myself doing?  Applying the art theory of Global Perspectives on Modernity and Alternative Contexts to Rox Chox.  Ferreting out the silkscreen lab and designing merch.  (And then also some secret future art projects).

Yes, Rox Chox is a little engine that could these days.  In fact, we heard via telephone yesterday that Berryvale Grocery in Mt Shasta would like to offer our treats as soon as we get our new packaging, which Sage is currently researching.  Then Yusef, the owner of Valencia Whole Foods in Ol' Frisco had a nice greeting for me: "What's wrong with your packaging?"  Vicki tells us that 'Joe' means well.  He's trying to help - he knows what sells.  California likes food that looks like it came out of a machine, as River says.  It's that hegemony of the image again, darn!  Well, we're just going to infiltrate that system of oppressive capitalism with our hard core compassionate business ethics and seductively powerful chocolate.  This isn't just a treat we're peddling, it's a message.  So today I took the lid from the box the Rox Chox checks came in, covered it in shiny gold stickers, and took it in there.  Brought my coconut water to the counter and chatted with Vicki for a minute.  She had noticed the shiny gold object and suggested I move Rox Chox up a shelf to the front-and-center spot.  As Ninja of Die Antwoord would say, "veery fahncy."

Tomorrow we pick up a rental car and hit the road again on a Rox tour.  And while I'm not thrilled to be doing so much driving, I am really super duper stoked to experiment with this videocamera I checked out from school, excited to hopefully demo at Sundance in Eugene, and really, really, really hoping that this will be the last work-party on the Raw Lab.  Whisking in and out of Portland trying to get mad biz done is kinda hectic and doesn't allow much time for visiting, but I'm sure I'll see some familiar faces, score some sweet hugs, and finally get a rice latte, which SF has yet to offer up.