Learn more about our relationship with SERRV from their Director of Marketing, Serena Soto.
It all started with cuckoo clocks. Wooden clocks, beautifully crafted by hand in Germany and carried across the sea by relief workers to be sold to friends and family in the States. The funds raised by those sales helped German refugees rebuild their homes and their lives, and connected relatives across the ocean. SERRV’s story begins back in the late 1940s, when a small, committed group of church relief workers sought effective ways to help refugees recover from the war. After spending weeks at a time in Europe, these workers looked for even more ways to help once they returned home. Growing from cuckoo clocks to a variety of handcrafts, the first SERRV Gift Shop opened in New Windsor, Maryland in 1950.
For decades, we were one of the only ‘alternative trade’ organizations in the country, and the term ‘fair trade’ had yet to be coined.Over the past 64 years, the heart of SERRV’s mission has remained the same: to fight poverty through fair trade and development work. Our focus has evolved from refugees, to newly independent nations, and now to people in need regardless of national borders. We partner with more than 60 artisan and farmer community-based organizations in 32 countries. From one small gift shop we have expanded our outreach and every year we wholesale products to hundreds of retail stores, mail over a million catalogs, and partner with thousands of churches for volunteer sales.
In 1999, SERRV was proud to place our first order for Divine Chocolate! Our commitment to farmer empowerment—and our love of fantastic chocolate—created a truly Divine partnership with Day Chocolate Company in the UK. For the next 7 years SERRV was the sole distributor of Divine Chocolate within the US, paving the way for a US-based Divine Chocolate company to be established in 2006.
SERRV sells a lot of Divine Chocolate, and we love knowing that the cocoa farmers in Ghana are co-owners of the company. Their commitment to quality, women’s rights, education of children, and democracy inspires our work.
And to top it all off we think Divine Chocolate is the best chocolate we’ve ever tasted. Fair trade, farmer owned, and melt-in-your-mouth scrumptious, what could be more Divine?