Great Organic Chocolate at Dagoba
Dagoba Organic Chocolate is one of the most nationally well-known companies based in Ashland (1105 Benson Way on the south end of town off Crowson Road). The company was founded in Boulder, Colorado, in 2001 by Frederick Schilling, who changed the chocolate industry by creating delicious organic chocolate that was sustainably sourced and packaged.
The company moved to the Rogue Valley in 2003 and has been at its present location since 2004. Dagoba Chocolate was the first company to introduce delightful combinations of essential oils, fruits, nuts and herbs into chocolate.
This unique business concept was heartily welcomed by consumers. In fact, it became so popular that the company was acquired by the Hershey Company in 2006. It was a perfect fit for the small company as it was able to expand its reach exponentially and join forces with a company that shared its mission.
Hershey has an outstanding Corporate Social Responsibility program. Over 97% of their U.S. production occurs at facilities that send zero waste to landfills. The company also supports Dagoba’s sustainability projects and programs, has upgraded all of the machinery so that they run more efficiently and with less waste, has shared its quality and safety programs, and has offered the employees competitive pay and excellent benefits.
At the Benson Way location, Dagoba manufactures all its products—bars, tasting squares, baking bars, chocodrops, cacao powder and drinking chocolates. There is a Tasting Room and Gift Shop where both locals and out-of-towners can mingle to sample chocolates and buy some great gifts, including organic bamboo t-shirts, hot chocolate mugs, chocolate spa products, and insulated bags to safely take chocolate out into the heat.
Dagoba has been committed to sustainability since Day One. They practice Full Circle sustainability practices that blend quality, ecology, equity and community into each step, from the rainforest to the consumer. They work to conserve biodiversity and promote the rights and well-being of farmers, their families and communities.
Locally, they have implemented programs at the plant to lower consumption of natural resources, encourage continued recycling and reach out to the community through fundraisers to support United Way, canned food drives for ACCESS, clothing drives, career counseling and support for the Children’s Miracle Network. They also donate chocolate to hundreds of valued organizations throughout the Rogue Valley.
For more info, the phone number is 541-482-2001.
Thirty Seven and Counting for the Hospital Foundation
The Ashland Community Hospital Foundation, which raises money for programs, services and equipment at the hospital, is celebrating 37 years in operation and looking to the future. When Asante Ashland Community Hospital became part of the Asante family in August 2013, the affiliation brought a sense of relief, valuable resources, cost saving efficiencies and system support, along with a bit of confusion about the Foundation’s association with the hospital.
The Ashland Community Hospital Foundation will continue to remain an independent foundation, with an independent board of directors, dedicated to securing and stewarding charitable support exclusively for Asante Ashland Community Hospital.
The current Executive Director is Janet Troy, and additional staff members include Kathleen Mackris, Development Associate, and Stephanie Roland, Senior Development officer.
“The Foundation exists to support the needs of the hospital,” Janet said. “As the healthcare climate continues to change, there is a growing need for philanthropic support for the hospital’s programs and services.”
The Foundation provides an opportunity for community members to support the services and programs provided by Asante Ashland Community Hospital. These programs include:
- Center for Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine.
- Diagnostic Services, including echocardiography, lab, radiology/imaging, respiratory services, and special studies.
- Emergency Care.
- Family Birth Center.
- Hospice, Home Health, and Palliative Care services.
- School Nurse Services at Ashland and Talent elementary and middle schools.
- Surgical Services and inpatient care.
“Donors supporting Ashland Community Hospital Foundation can expect to be treated with respect, confidentiality and gratitude,” Janet said. “Gifts of all sizes and types can make a difference in the lives of the patients and families that receive care in our hospital. The Foundation board members and staff are absolutely committed to honoring your wishes as a donor and helping you achieve your philanthropic goals.”
One question that continues to come up on a regular basis from the Foundation’s supporters is where their donations go now that Ashland Community Hospital is part of Asante.
“When you send a contribution to our foundation, you can rest assured your gift will stay in our community and directly benefit Asante Ashland Community Hospital,” Janet said. “Our goal is to help individuals, groups and businesses invest in their local hospital through charitable gifts. Being part of Asante provides tremendous benefits to Asante Ashland Community Hospital, but it doesn’t alleviate the need for philanthropic support.”
Each year the board of directors, in partnership with hospital leadership selects a fundraising project for its Patrons Campaign. The campaign for 2014 is securing contributions to purchase a new digital x-ray suite for our Diagnostic Imaging department.
“The total cost of this equipment is approximately $125,000 and to-date we have raised just over $60,000,” Janet said. “In order to provide the best care, our diagnostic tools must be state-of-the-art. We invite the community to make a gift to help us purchase this vital piece of equipment for our patients. Donations can be made in person, securely online at www.achfoundation.org, or through the mail at PO Box 98, Ashland, Oregon 97520.”
Flower Tyme Expands to Manzanita on Main
Lou Ann David has been a busy woman lately. Not content with owning and operating the popular Flower Tyme on the Plaza for the last 32 years, she decided to open a second gift shop, Manzanita on Main (90 N. Main) in May 2013.
“I had been a florist for ten years and owned a shop in Wichita, Kansas,” Lou Ann said. “When we moved to Ashland in 1981, we opened Flower Tyme, and it grew from a small bucket shop to the full-service florist and gift shop you see today. I increasingly became enamored with the home and gift portion of my shop, but it was only 1300 square feet. When I noticed a location of similar size opening up just a half-block away last year, I jumped on it.”
The new shop is located where the Blue Heron Gallery was, next to Thai Pepper. It has allowed Lou Ann to expand her selection of home accents and gifts, and gave Flower Tyme room to breathe.
“When entering the store, people say they feel calm and peaceful,” Lou Ann said. “I think that is because of the merchandise, which mostly consists of natural elements of wood, clay, metal, and fabric, and our selection of Tillandsias (air plants). The high ceilings and old wooden floor give a feeling of spaciousness while still allowing a coziness to the atmosphere.”
Manzanita on Main offers many items of U.S. handmade goods, including unique pottery from Pennsylvania, hand-painted silk lamps from Maine, wooden craftsman clocks from New Hampshire, wooden spoons and bowls from our Rogue Valley, and beautiful hand-made furniture by Ashlander Nick David who, by the way, is a new father to a handsome baby boy.
“We have not duplicated any merchandise at Manzanita,” Lou Ann said. “It’s a great place to find just the right wedding or birthday gift, and is also a source for floor coverings and lighting for your home or office. We custom order Chilowich rugs, throw pillows, and lamps, and have worked with several interior designers in the area.”
Manzanita on Main is open seven days a week from 10-6, and most days you’ll see Cindy Gross’s beautiful smile as you enter.
“I loved what a customer said the other day,” Lou Ann remarked. “She said, ‘Flower Tyme is such a happy store, and Manzanita is an exquisite store!’ That seems to sum it all up.”
For more info, call 541-488-9886.
Small Batch Wines at Platt Anderson Cellars
While southern Oregon has seen an explosion of vineyards and wineries over the last 15 years, Platt Anderson Cellars is unique in that it is the only winery located within the city limits of Ashland.
Owners Gill and Shelby Anderson moved to Ashland in October 2012 from the Seattle area. Gill practiced obstetrics/gynecology for 33 years and upon retirement was looking for something else.
“I read about a wine program at South Seattle Community College and became a student again,” Gill said. “I stayed on as an instructor in Wine Production and Laboratory Analysis and worked in several wineries in the Woodinville area, even starting my own small winery named Platt Anderson Cellars.”
The move to Ashland was a perfect fit for the Andersons. “Shelby has a brother who lives here, and we love the community and all the cultural benefits that exist,” Gill said. “Of course, I was very interested in the wine community, the great growing season and the variety of grapes that are here. So we moved here in 2012 with our Bernese Mountain Dog, Bella.”
Platt Anderson Cellars opened in February 2013, located in a single-car garage on Otis Street.
“We are a small production winery having completed our first harvest of southern Oregon grapes,” Gill said. “Our red wines are currently in barrel and maturing nicely with many rich flavors of the grapes. Our white wines in bottle are Albarino, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. We do not have a tasting room and therefore use the city of Ashland as our tasting room, pouring at every First Friday and other community events. We do sell our wines online at ashlandwine.net.”
Gill also delivers wine to the workplace or home. “We’re unique in that we provide free delivery,” he said. “Most of my deliveries are done on my scooter or our new electric bicycles. You can find me in Ashland on one of those delivery modes.”
Gill’s philosophy is not just to make great small batches of wines but to help educate people on the qualities of the wine and the region it comes from.
“We would like to see a Wine Village in Ashland where several small wineries can share a common area of wine-tasting combined with an educational center for people to learn more about wine making,” he said. “Community involvement is very important to us, and we want to support those organizations that help people achieve a better life.”
The phone number at Platt Anderson Cellars is 541-708-0530.