The Gift

OUR WORLD IS INTERCONNECTED and Dancing Lion Chocolate’s connections run broad. We collaborate with cacao farmers from Puerto Rico to Peru. We mentor chocolate professionals and certify Master Chocolatiers. We support the fine chocolate industry and our local community. Our customers hail from Manchester, New England, South America, Europe, Japan, and as far as Antarctica.

From the day of our founding we needed art on the back of our shop; art that spoke of who we are and what we do: wild, edgy, a bit subversive. Yasamin Safarzadeh is an Iranian American Manchester resident who worked at our shop while she designed and painted the piece—it incorporates her view of our mission, what we do, and how we do it. She began the work in May and completed it in late July. We titled it “THE GIFT.”

Precolumbian ruins and glyphs form the backdrop. An archaeologist observes a Mayan woman pouring Xichoatl—drinking chocolate for a young girl as an Olmec fire dragon watches from above the door and a Puerto Rican Coquí frog gazes from the eaves. “The Gift” represents gifts across cultures, places and generations. It is our gift to the community, our gift to Yasamin, and her gift to us. In its completion, Yasamin left us with a work of art.

Yasamin Safarzadehis an artist, poet, teacher, advocate for the arts and the underserved. Her work breaks molds, pushes envelopes, and speaks for those who can’t speak for themselves.

For commissions, contact Yasamin at, 818-635-2007, or