Changing the World

One Chocolate Truffle at a Time


by Lindsay Tarnoff


Are you familiar with the story of the girl and the starfish?

The tale starts with a young child wandering along the beach after a storm. All along the coast, there were starfish that had been washed up onto the sand, and couldn’t find their way back to the ocean. As this child walked on the beach, she threw back each starfish she encountered.

Onlookers watched as she did this, and soon one approached her. “What are you doing?” he inquired. “You can’t possibly save all these starfish. You can’t make a difference.”

As the story goes, the child feels defeated, but only for a second. She bends down, picks up one more sea star, and throws it back into the ocean. “Perhaps I can’t save them all,” she responds, gazing into the deep blue sea. “But it made a world of difference to that one.”

The man took a moment, looked thoughtfully at the girl, looked down at his feet, and picked up the next starfish he saw. He tossed it back into the ocean, and joined the girl in her mission. 

quilted image of girl in hat on beach throwing starfish into ocean

Chocolate Stars

I first encountered the story during my teen years when I read Chicken Soup for the Soul. Based on a google search, the first rendition written down was by Loren Eisely – “The Star Thrower.”

The story has stuck with me through the years. In fact, before I left for college my mom quilted a wall hanging depicting the story, and it has been a part of me.

You might be thinking, “what does this have to do with chocolate?” And understandbly – until I started looking closely at this 18 year old wall hanging in my kids’ room, I never gave it too much thought.

Until I put two and two together.

mind your own uterus


I’m going to divulge some of my childhood to you. When we were about 9 or 10, my best friend and my sister’s best friend (also sisters) lived up the street from us. The four of us had a club that we called the CCC. The name had double meaning, because we did adore chocolate chip cookies – but in reality the letters stood for “Kids Can Care,” and we focused on helping the environment, advocacy, raising money to save the rainforest and sponsor endangered animals.

It didn’t occur to me until after I started Laughing Gull Chocolates, but this was, in essence, my first food business for good. As young kids, we hosted lemonade stands, selling doctored-up lemonade and homemade brownies, the profits of which all went directly towards our club. Even before I read about the starfish, I believed in being a part of making a difference – one person, one tree, one animal, at a time.

Today, we make a difference through one truffle at a time.

Ready to roll chocolate shortbread

One Chocolate at a Time

Laughing Gull Chocolates’ tagline is “Changing The World With Chocolate,” and we take that seriously. We know we can only impact so much – but we do what we can through education, our sourcing, our packaging, and giving to organizations that make a difference.

We’re passionate about our mission, and how we can change the world – and are confident that together, as a community, we can make a difference.

Thanks for being on this journey with us! And keep an eye out for 2022 Impact Analysis, to be published by the end of January.

1 Comment

  1. Ken Tarnoff

    Love the story!


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