This might just be the sweetest collaboration ever in USU’s College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences.
In what may seem to be an unlikely pairing, the Aggie Chocolate Factory (ACF) and the Outdoor Product Design and Development (OPDD) program worked with Beaver Mountain Ski Resort to produce the Beaver Bar – Aggie Chocolate shaped into delicious, edible versions of Beaver Mountain’s logo using molds created by OPDD students.
The Aggie Chocolate Factory is the only bean-to-bar facility operated by an academic institution and produces unique products with only two ingredients: cocoa and sugar. The factory sources sustainably produced, fair trade beans from countries worldwide to produce chocolates with different flavor profiles.
Food science student and Aggie Chocolate Factory employee Mary Kellems said among the things she learned during the process was how important clear communication is in creative projects and how small businesses can collaborate to help all partners be successful. Through this process, OPDD and the chocolate factory were able to get finished chocolate bars to Beaver Mountain before the end of the ski season.
OPDD student McKenzie Farley explained that it made sense for the Aggie Chocolate Factory to work within the college to design and 3D print specialty molds, rather than sourcing them from overseas manufacturers. Though there was plenty for students to learn, communication to get the molds made was simpler and turnaround time was much shorter. It’s also difficult to put a price on the experience students gained working on a real-world design and manufacturing project.
Although OPDD students typically work with materials meant for durability, functionality, and appeal to outdoors and sports enthusiasts, the path from concept to printing the final molds was not new to them.
“At the end of the day a chocolate bar is a product,” Farley said, “It’s just like designing and manufacturing other things. This one’s just made of chocolate.”
“This project is a perfect example of how various departments with the college can collaborate and translate that collaboration into a product that involves a local company,” said Professor Silvana Martini, director of the ACF. “The factory staff and students also collaborate with other departments and organizations on campus and with other local businesses. Perhaps the most important part of the mission of the chocolate factory is the emphasis on student involvement.”
Farley added that she has spent many seasons enjoying the terrain at Beaver Mountain and it was exciting to see something she helped create being sold at the resort. Beaver Mountain is just 27 miles through beautiful Logan Canyon from USU’s Logan campus and is the country’s oldest continuously family-owned resort.
College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences
Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Sciences, Aggie Chocolate Factory