Forget the chalky, heart-shaped milk chocolate that’s everywhere this week. There’s a sweeter way to enjoy chocolate on February 14, thanks to Bennett Coffey, 30, and Ky Keenan, 27, founders of raw chocolate brand Not Your Sugar Mamas. And the best part (okay, second to the fact that it’s chocolate) is that it’s actually not bad for you.
“People are surprised something so healthy can taste so good,” says Coffey. “One customer said it felt like he was eating chocolate for the first time.”
That sentiment has made the Martha’s Vineyard-based candy company a major hit. When they first debuted in 2011, they were in 15 stores and, now, they’re in more than 150 (including Whole Foods) nationwide. They’ve also opened two stores on the Vineyard, where chocolate practically sells out before it even has a chance to melt.
Why all the buzz? Not only is it raw, but the chocolate is also downright delicious: slightly airy, not cloyingly sweet, and the unique flavors like Lavender Sea Salt aren’t totally overwhelming.
Find out what makes Not Your Sugar Mamas so completely wholesome—and kinda good for your soul, too.
The sweet idea for the company started in 2011. Coffey was studying at the Institute of Integrated Nutrition and teaching yoga on the side. She started experimenting with raw cacao in the kitchen and sharing the results with her students. It was a hit. (We bet!)
Then she met Keenan, who has a background in business, and whose dream was to start her own. “We really wanted to do something positive and have an positive impact on the food industry and the world—and use chocolate as our vehicle to do that,” Coffey says.
Healthy chocolate, you say?
So maybe chocolate has always had some sort of positive emotional effect, but Keenan and Coffey thought bigger than just pleasing taste buds. What if they could trailblaze by de-junking chocolate until all that was left was the good stuff that pleased your palate, and didn’t hurt your body?
They started with organic ingredients including raw cacao butter, maple syrup, coconut water. Lastly, they used raw cacao, which means the chocolate is loaded with antioxidants and a healthy dose of immune-boosting vitamin C (something that M&Ms just can’t compete with). Oh, and you won’t find a sprinkle of refined sugar in their kitchen.
“White sweeteners take nutrients from our body to digest them, so they leave us feeling depleted and hungry—that’s where the addiction starts,” says Keenan.
This cleaner, pure chocolate is a revelation in an industry filled with corn syrup and unpronounceable “gums.” Their inventive flavors, like ginger pomegranate and rose maca make the caramel and nougat of the drugstore candy aisle a distant memory.
On top of being loaded in heart-healthy antioxidants and yummy taste-combos, their chocolate is also filled with intangible ingredients—namely great vibes. “We have five girls making it—every single one is a healer in her own way, whether they’re an herbalist and a yoga instructor,” says Keenan. “There’s all kinds of crazy good energy that goes into our chocolate.” —Molly Gallagher
For more information, visit www.notyoursugarmamas.com