There are so many benefits to being young. You don’t need me to list them off for you. But there is one place youth apparently isn’t valued — in banking. The founders of Joe Chocolate figured that out quickly when they started their business. But as we learn in the client testimonial video we created for HomeStreet Bank, not everyone is scared away by youthfulness.
Sam Tanner and Peter Keckemet developed the idea for Joe Chocolate as a class project at the University of Washington. They make naturally caffeinated, dark chocolate with artisan roasted espresso and handmade ingredients. They load their chocolate with whole espresso beans and espresso grounds, making each ounce of their chocolate the equivalent to a cup of coffee — or a cup of Joe — hence the name Joe Chocolate.
“We started sending our chocolate to a friend who was doing the Pacific Crest Trail, and he was really encouraging and convinced us to make it our full-time job,” Keckemet said in our client testimonial video interview.
And so Tanner and Keckemet started checking off all the things they needed to do to launch a business, including finding a bank.
“Being younger was absolutely an obstacle,” said Tanner in our client testimonial video. “We went to a lot of different banks. You could tell when we walked into a room, people were like, ‘Oh, look, two college dudes. They don’t know what they’re doing.'”
And then the two were introduced to HomeStreet Bank.
“As a community bank, we’re not only looking for the well-defined and well-established larger corporations, but we also answer the call to the smaller upstart businesses and the folks that really need guidance,” said John Babauta of HomeStreet Bank in our client testimonial video.
“When we started working with HomeStreet, it was interest in what we were doing, interest in our vision and where we wanted to go, and most of all, a willingness to help and a willingness to grow with us,” Tanner said.
“As a banking partner, we want to be able to deliver more than just the transactional services,” said Babauta. “It’s having a place where you know your bankers. You can call a branch and get a person right away. That’s the value add. They can focus on doing what they do best, which is making chocolate.”
Joe Chocolate is now sold nationwide at REI. It’s for sale in Whole Foods and PCC markets across Seattle and the Pacific Northwest.
“I think we’re still in the proving grounds,” Tanner said. “We really want to show the rest of the United States and the world this idea of a clean source of caffeine from simple ingredients that tastes great.”
And they know HomeStreet Bank will be there with them every step of the way.
* The company rebranded from Joe Chocolates to Joe Chocolate not long after we created this client testimonial video for HomeStreet Bank.
This is just one client testimonial video in a series we have created with HomeStreet Bank. The series, called Better Together, focuses on HomeStreet’s business banking and corporate banking partners. Joe Chocolate is based in Seattle, but HomeStreet’s client testimonial videos have taken us up and down the West Coast and to Hawaii.
The client testimonial video series is such a success that we turn most of the feature videos into television commercials. If you live in the Seattle area, there’s a good chance you’ve seen our ads on TV or your favorite streaming service.
And what we’ve done for HomeStreet Bank, we can do for you as well. We love making customer testimonial videos. It’s a golden opportunity for storytelling, and that’s what we do best at our Seattle video production and content creation company. All you have to do is contact us by phone, text, email — whatever is easiest for you. You can also find us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Or watch another customer testimonial video or two on YouTube and Vimeo.