Paula Burdick is co-owner of L.A. Burdick Chocolate, a family-owned, internationally renowned chocolatier founded in 1986. She grew up in Boston and attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, where she worked in the garment industry. Paula and husband Larry moved their growing chocolate business to the small town of Walpole, New Hampshire in 1996.
The Burdicks depend on chocolate from the island nation of Grenada to create their unique flavors and recipes. After two hurricanes decimated the island in 2004 and 2005, Paula and Larry began working with the island’s cocoa farmers to help them reclaim their lands, improve their crops’ quality and value, and create value-added businesses that will increase and diversify their incomes – all of which support the preservation of this unique tropical ecosystem. To support this work, Paula founded the nonprofit Cocoa Farmers Future Initiative in 2011.
Lucienne grew up in Wellesley, MA and attended undergraduate and graduate school at the University of Michigan. She has a Masters in Public Health and is interested in food and agriculture and is especially passionate about the Caribbean. Lucy interned and worked on CFFI's cocoa farm in Spring 2014 and helped manage the blog. She now lives in Brooklyn, New York and manages Farmers Markets throughout the city.
Dorise Kowalewski is an artisan baker and woodworker living in Acworth, NH since 1981. She grew up in France and studied cabinetmaking, before meeting her husband and moving to the States to raise a family. During the 1980s she worked with the Bread & Puppet theatre in Vermont where she learned to build outdoor wood-fired ovens. A lifelong craftsperson Dorise has shared her skills in developing countries, working with women’s cooperatives and teaching self-reliance.
For over twenty years Dorise has run a home bakery using clay ovens and producing European style sourdough breads and pastries. Knitter, dancer, and cook extraordinaire, Dorise can be found foraging in the woods with her menagerie, depending on the season.
Keith Zimmermann - Vice President
As a founding member of the Cocoa Farming Future Initiative, Keith brings his talents to international development after years in executive sales management positions. He has worked in a wide range of industries, engaging with cross-functional product development teams in the United States, Mexico, and Europe. Having spent time in a winery early in his career, Zimmermann was intrigued by the CFFI mission of improving the cacao nursery stock and shade forest farming practices in order to improve the overall gustatory quality and value of the cocoa product.
He is also drawn to start-ups and has been involved in several, including the Biltmore Estate Winery and New England Interconnect Systems, where he was a co-founder and sales and marketing manager.
Keith was formerly vice president of sales for Whitney Blake Co. of Vermont. He currently leads the sales efforts at Bensonwood Homes. He graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in communications from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.