Chocolate Man

Friday, February 17, 2012
Mark Freeman with sister Carey Friedrich and her class.

Chocolate is one of the wonderful things in life.

The Alta second grade class had a special guest in their rooms recently that showed them how chocolate starts out.

Mark Freeman, brother of second grade teacher Carey Friedrich and graduate of Storm Lake High School, visited the students. He has been working in the chocolate industry since 1981. Currently he is the vice president of sales for the Barry Callebaut company located in Lancaster, Pa.

Jenna Nielsen and chocolate! / Photos by Lorri Glawe

He shared with the students a power point, showing the growing of the cocoa beans in South America, harvesting them, the drying process, the shelling then roasting and then grinding of the beans and finally how chocolate is made.

While he said that he grew up in the heart of farming, the cocoa farms are much different.

As the vice president of sales, he promotes chocolate made at his company and visits many plants, including Wells Blue Bunny in LeMars, who favors their chocolate chips and cocoa powder among other products.

After his presentation, he gave each of the students a cocoa bean and a miniature chocolate bar.

"I eat a lot of chocolate," he commented. "I never get sick of chocolate. It's one of the occupational hazards of the job!"