GoodSAM Foods puts money back into indigenous farmers growing cocoa
The founder and CEO of GoodSAM Foods says she is on a mission to make life better for the growers who supply her company.
Heather Terry has always loved chocolate but never expected it would transform her life.
"I dreamed of being an actor. I was an actor in New York. I was a professional actor for seven years," she said.
She made appearances on "All My Children," but the ups and downs of show business left her hungry for a change.
"I started teaching cooking classes in my apartment in Manhattan to all of my actor friends, and the only thing they would eat is dark chocolate," said Terry.
She started making candy for her friends, who encouraged her to take it further. She sold her first company and bought cocoa from indigenous farmers.
"I had to go to the head of the indigenous community, the Arawak community, the husband and wife, who are the tribe leaders, I had to get permission to operate in the area," said Terry.
GoodSAM Foods was born from there.
"We had access. We thought if we took that access and we really worked directly with communities, we can cut out all the middlemen, the farmer can make more money," she said. The funds help improve everyday existence. "Roads, schools, electricity, we make a lot of investment in those types of things."
Her job can take her from Central America to Kenya, but she spends half of her time here in Connecticut.
"What moves me the most is how similar we are. There's a lot more that is similar between humans than different," she said. "I definitely have moments where I am like 'is this my real life?'"