The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania
Creative Makers Exhibit: Highland Chocolates
Photographs of Highland Chocolates, which can be found in Tioga County.
Its mission makes Highland Chocolates even sweeter.
The non-profit, located in Wellsboro, is owned and operated by Partners In Progress, Inc., which is committed to helping people with disabilities to develop and implement vocational, residential, and social activities.
The small shop and candy production facility hires four staff members and about 20 people with physical, mental and emotional disabilities. Founded in 1994, it has grown to make between 5-6 tons of chocolate every year.
Lacey Kennedy, of Highland Chocolates, said aside from making a delicious product, the most important part of the work they do is teaching skills to individuals with disabilities so that they have the skills they need to get a job in the community.
Meghan Jayne, a tour guide there, has been with the shop for 15 years and loves it.
“I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned to watch what I do. Like I have to keep my eye on the product. Quality control, basically,” Megan said. “I’ve also learned to speak and raise my voice so that people can hear me when I give tours. Time management, I’ve learned so much about teamwork too — that is very important.”
“This is a fun place to work.”
These images were captured by Katie Weidenboerner Deppen as part of the 2017 Creative Makers Exhibit, a traveling showcase of creative makers working in the PA Wilds.
More about the show here. Proceeds from the sales of the Creative Makers Exhibit photographic tiles & posters will go back into the work of the Wilds Cooperative and the extension of this project as we will continue photographing the creative makers living and working in the PA Wilds.
Each tile measures 8 in x 8 in and is mounted on foam core that is approximately 3/4 in thick and comes with adhesive attached for wall mounting.
Please note: Orders for photographic tiles are placed in a batch at the end of each month with the vendor, and then take an additional 2 weeks for delivery. Please be prepared that your order could take 4-6 weeks for delivery.
Over 10 years ago, a groundbreaking effort began to brand a quarter of the Commonwealth as the "Pennsylvania Wilds" and invest in it to create a premier nature, heritage and cultural destination that would fuel local economies and inspire stewardship among the people who live, work, play and visit the region. Engaging the region's artists and craftspeople in the work is key to building a meaningful regional brand and infusing pride into economically-distressed communities. The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania, our membership program that supports artisans and entrepreneurs through such regional branding, was born out of this belief. Today, nearly 200 local artists and craftspeople participate in this juried arts and business development program. "Creative Makers" reflects the splendor and uniqueness of the Pennsylvania Wilds landscape and rural lifestyle, and the resourcefulness and talent of the artists who live and work here. PA Wilds Juried Artisans captured the images, and our goal with the exhibit is to help tell the story of the creative individuals living and working in the PA Wilds.
This project is made possible through grants from the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts.
The PA Wilds is home to an impressive and diverse community of skilled artisans, craftspeople, and producers working across a variety of media. The PA Wilds Conservation Shop is proud to source and curate our shop using products made the many talented makers of The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania.
Learn more about our sourcing now.
PA Wilds Conservation Shops are owned and operated by the Pennsylvania Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship, Inc. a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit. To learn more about our nonprofit mission please visit pawildscenter.org.