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Cissé (pronounced “see-say”), lead by two equal passions, combines the recipes of award-winning Pastry Chef Jenny McCoy, and the socially responsible direction of Co-Founder Diana Lovett. Together, their commitment to delicious desserts and sustainable business will allow you to satisfy your senses and your sensibility.

Cissé co-founder Jenny McCoy has a depth of experience in the pastry world.  Just after graduating from high school, Jenny enrolled in the Baking and Pastry Program at Chicago’s Kendall College on a whim. Lucky for Jenny, she fell in love with the kitchen and landed positions in a variety of Chicago’s top restaurants, including Charlie Trotter’s, Blackbird, Gordon and Bittersweet Bakery. It was in these kitchens where Jenny learned to refine her palate and develop her talent for composing seasonal desserts.

Deciding to branch out, Jenny moved to New Orleans. There, she had the opportunity to run three restaurant pastry departments for Emeril Lagasse, as well as contribute weekly to the Cooking Blog at Emerils.com. It wasn’t long, however, before she felt the pull of New York City’s vibrant culinary scene; she moved north a few years later. 

Since her arrival, Jenny’s worked in New York City as the opening pastry chef at Marc Forgione; for A Voce, where she oversaw pastry operations for both their Madison Square and Columbus Circle locations; and as celebrity chef Tom Colicchio’s flagship restaurant, Craft, where she helped earn its second three-star review from The New York Times.

Jenny also teaches at The Institute of Culinary Education; volunteers in the NYC Department of Education with Wellness in the Schools; won the 2011 Rising Star Pastry Chef Award; is the spokesperson for the Almond Board of California; and is working on her forthcoming dessert cookbook, to be published by Rizzoli in 2013. Jenny has been featured in many national print, web, radio, and television outlets, such as Food & Wine magazine, Newsweek, and Martha Stewart Radio.

Diana, the champion behind the Cissé brand operations, wants nothing more than to help our farmers live better lives. To accomplish this, Diana has gone straight to the source to build strong relationships with the cocoa producers from the FUNDOPO cooperative in the Dominican Republic. She also works closely with Fair Trade USA to purchase ingredients that ensure our farmers and their families are always paid a premium price for their harvests, and has developed a system that allows our consumers to fully trace the journey of their cocoa powder from bean to box.

So discover the delicious organic, Fair Trade cocoa powder Jenny and Diana hand selected in the Dominican Republic. Connect with the cocoa farmers by scanning the QR Code on the back of each box to write a thank you message. With Cissé, discover that pastry-chef-quality treats aren’t so hard to make.

If Cissé is awarded the $25,000 prize, the funds will go towards our production and marketing costs. We have successfully sold our products to over 70 Whole Foods Market stores and now we need money to help us cover our costs of goods to make our products. We will also use the funds to participate with each of our retailers by hosting in-store product training sessions and baking demos so our new customers can sample our yummy treats!

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