Original interview published 8/24/2023, https://www.deliveryrank.com/blog/sip-interview and written by Sarah Kirton.
Embarking on a remarkable journey from a distinguished 30-year pastry career to the co-founding of Sip! Extraordinary Drinking Chocolate, En-Ming Hsu’s story is one of resilience, innovation, and compassion. From her beginnings in Washington D.C., to becoming the Executive Pastry Chef at the Ritz-Carlton Chicago, Hsu’s expertise has graced prestigious establishments worldwide. However, the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic prompted a pivot that led to the creation of Sip! in collaboration with her sister, Yih-Ming, the duo drew inspiration from their shared memories of sumptuous drinking chocolate in Spain. In this interview with DeliveryRank, En-Ming Hsu shares the evolution of Sip!, the distinct qualities that set their drinking chocolate apart, and their unwavering commitment to sustainability, community impact, and unparalleled indulgence.
Please share the story behind Sip! Extraordinary Drinking Chocolate? What inspired you to co-found the company, and how has it evolved since?
After beginning my 30-year pastry career in Washington D.C., I worked in New York City and eventually became the Executive Pastry Chef at the Ritz-Carlton Chicago. I’ve taught at leading pastry training institutions worldwide and currently continue my pastry consulting business. In April 2020, I lost all of my scheduled business due to the Covid pandemic. By January 2021, the schools where I taught shuttered and it was clear that my business would never be the same. It was an opportunity to take on a new challenge and start a business. My sister, Yih-Ming, and I both studied in Spain during college and recalled the luxurious drinking chocolate there. We became business partners and spent the next six months planning Sip! Extraordinary Drinking Chocolate. We launched Sip LLC in October 2021. Our company mission is to support non-profit organizations that feed hungry children. Our goal to wipe out childhood hunger drives our desire to build our brand to one nationally recognized as the premium drinking chocolate in America.
What sets your drinking chocolate apart from others in the market?
Sip! Extraordinary Drinking Chocolate is a rich, creamy chocolate indulgence. Our easy-to-prepare mix is a multi-purpose product that can be served hot, cold, or frozen. It can also be used to create delicious chocolate treats such as ice cream, puddings, mousse, cookies, brownies, and sauces.
Sustainability and ethical sourcing are important considerations for many consumers today. How does Sip! ensure its drinking chocolate is responsibly sourced, and what steps have you taken to create a positive impact on the communities involved?
We have an obligation to our customers to provide them with a product that is conscientiously sourced. With regard to our chocolate and cocoa, Sip LLC indirectly creates an impact for good in the cocoa growing communities through our supplier who is part of Cocoa Horizons. The Cocoa Horizons program focuses on the well-being of cocoa farmers by helping to build self-sustaining communities. Cocoa Horizons works with farmers to develop their knowledge of sustainable agricultural practices, improve productivity, equalize gender inequality within the communities, and protects the children. The program also supports the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, a call to action to promote prosperity while protecting our planet.
As to ingredients such as milk, cream, and sugar, we proudly partner with other small USA manufacturers for our supplies. Our packaging needs are also met by American small business companies.
I mentioned earlier that Sip LLC’s mission is to support non-profit organizations that feed hungry children. In 2021, we participated in a fundraiser for refugees in Ghana by donating our profits during the fundraising campaign. Our contributions helped feed hundreds of children in the refugee camp. It was one of our proudest moments as new business owners.
With the rising popularity of health-conscious products, how does Sip! cater to consumers seeking healthier alternatives without compromising on taste and indulgence?
Sip! Extraordinary Drinking Chocolate is more than a luxurious chocolate treat. It’s nutrient dense when prepared with milk. What sets us apart is while Sip! is rich-tasting, it isn’t the sweet hot cocoa beverage that many American consumers are accustomed to. Reducing sugar consumption is important for a healthy diet. For our customers wishing to avoid dairy, Sip! is delicious when made with plant-based milk alternatives.
Another aspect of healthy living includes the small pleasures we experience in our daily lives. We love it when our customers slowly sip and savor our drinking chocolate, perhaps in a moment of relaxation or as a way to kickstart their hectic day. It’s an extraordinary experience.
Where can we find Sip! Extraordinary Drinking Chocolate?
Sip! Extraordinary Drinking Chocolate is available online at sipextraordinary.com.
We currently offer three flavors: Original Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, and Dark Chocolate Peppermint in 8-oz packages (eight 5-oz servings per package). The same flavors are available for wholesale in 5-LB resealable pails. Our wholesale customers include hotels, resorts, stadiums, pastry shops, and coffee shops throughout the United States. This fall, we will have a presence at holiday markets in the Albuquerque area, including Placitas Holiday Market and the Rio Grande Arts Festival.
Kirton, S. (2023). Sip! Extraordinary Drinking Chocolate 2023: Discover Decadence. Retrieved September 24, 2023, from https://www.deliveryrank.com/blog/sip-interview