Cover Girl for a Cause

July 18, 2013  

Mocha inspired a chocolate company to raise money for needy animals

Mocha is a rescued mini pit bull that lives in Brooklyn, New York. One of her jobs is to appear as the cover girl on the chocolate bars and truffles for Rescue Chocolate. However, her main job is to encourage her guardian, Sarah Gross, to grow the chocolate company and donate all profits to various animal rescue organizations.

Rescue Chocolate was founded in 2010. While chocolate is only for human consumption, all proceeds go to animals in need through organizations like the United Animal Nations, Farm Sanctuary, The No-Kill Advocacy Center, In Defense of Animals and many others.

Mocha’s early puppyhood is a mystery. It’s speculated that she was kept by illegal dog-fighters who cropped off her ears to make her a leaner fighting machine. When they realized she was not a fighter, they abandoned her to the streets. There she was found, emaciated and scared, by NYC’s Animal Care & Control and then by an angelic foster mother who posted her mug shot online. Through cyberspace, Sarah fell in love with Mocha’s deep brown eyes. The two eventually met on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, where the love became mutual. At the time, Sarah was living in a townhouse whose other inhabitants were not in favor of having pets. So, Sarah and Mocha pulled up stakes and landed in a new crib, located across the street from a park with daily off-leash hours.

Sarah got the idea to combine her two passions – rescued dogs and dark chocolate – into one enterprise when she and Mocha were at the park one morning. While Mocha chased her ball, Sarah formed her business plan.

Now with her work as a cover girl, Mocha also serves as an ambassador for her breed. Peanut Butter Pit Bull was the first flavor developed for Rescue Chocolate. Consumers who purchase this chocolate bar also receive literature describing the fallacies of breed-discriminatory legislation.

Other flavors followed. All of them are named after an issue important in the animal rescue world, such as Foster-iffic Peppermint, The Fix and Pick Me! Pepper. And all of them, except one, sport Mocha’s engaging photo on the label. The one exception is called Mission Feral Fig, which educates consumers on humane solutions for managing feral cat colonies. Mocha felt it was appropriate in this instance to relinquish her spotlight to a rescued feline.

Since the company is all about animal welfare, every product is vegan and packaged in eco-friendly materials. Additionally, each one is kosher, and handmade using the traditional techniques of Belgian chocolatiers.

To date, Mocha’s message has found its way into the hearts of buyers in 48 states, three Canadian provinces and two European countries. Rescue Chocolate is sold online and in retail outlets, such as gourmet groceries and pet boutiques.

Mocha continues her work as the face of Rescue Chocolate and as the inspiration for future life-saving flavors.

This article was originally published on September 21, 2011.

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