Greetings, everyone! A few months ago I had the pleasure of meeting Kenzie Harrick, a nutrition counselor and owner of a new chocolate company, Chocholistic, and sampling some of the creations. First of all, the chocolate is delicious! It has a creamy texture and satisfies my sweet tooth. In addition, the chocolate is Organic, Raw, Vegan, Non-GMO; and free from Sugar, Nuts, Soy, Corn, Wheat, Gluten, and Dairy. Wow!
I had the chance to ask Kenzie some questions about how she creates these healthy chocolates and her plans for the business. I think you will enjoy reading about this healthy chocolate.
How did your 2011 trip to Costa Rica inspire you to create Chocholistic?
My trip to Costa Rica really opened me up to the power of possibility and the power of ingredients.
When I went to Costa Rica to study with David Wolfe, I had just made a big career move by leaving my job as a Program Manager and Chef for a Raw Detox Center. When I left for that trip, I was really hoping it would give me some spiritual insight into what my next move would be. Chocolate was never in the picture. Until of course, I got there.
The retreat center I stayed at had a raw cacao bar in the middle of their tropical jungle. After seeing how everyone organized their day around trips to the cacao bar, and learning from David Wolfe about the powers of combining superfoods and chocolate, I fell in love with the idea of “chocolate as the answer” to health concerns.
When I got home, I started experimenting in the kitchen with different combinations of herbs and superfoods until my friends and family were pretty hooked. When I had the opportunity to sell them at a local event, I jumped on it, and Chocholistic has snow-balled from there.
What is one of the best outcomes to starting your own business? What is a challenge?
The best outcome of starting Chocholistic has been waking up in the morning passionate about what I do. I believe I’m creating a product that can help people. When you focus on that potential, you push yourself to make it the best. When you rise to the occasion and start seeing your vision unfold, you feel really empowered. And that gives you confidence to make the next bold move.
Of course there are challenges everyday: Having enough chocolate in the fridge, shipping in 100 degree heat, designing retail packaging, being behind schedule… But you have to have patience with the process of creating something you’re proud of and know when to throw yourself in high gear and just figure it out.
What is your creative process in developing new flavors for the chocolate?
When it came time to create new flavors for Chocholistic there were two main questions that led the way of the creative process:
What are the conventional truffle flavors that everyone is familiar with? And what are the most interesting, powerful superfoods everyone needs to be eating?
I enjoy the challenge of combining powerful health foods with delicious (also healthy) chocolate. I also love the challenge of allowing those superfoods to make the chocolate taste better: Like the smokiness of reishi mushroom, the tartness of goji berries, or the crunch of chia seeds. Chocholistic is complex; it’s rich. You take a bite and you feel it. Understanding how Chocholistic is supposed to FEEL helped me develop how the new flavors would taste.
In addition to being available online, one of your short-term goals is to have some stores selling your chocolate by September (hooray!). How do you get your product to retail outlets?
One of the biggest tools in reaching a larger market has been helping people know the power of Chocholistic Chocolate. It’s unlike most products out there… And that’s exciting for chocolate lovers and retail stores. Of course with a new product you start small: local markets and smaller health food stores.
I think it will be about sitting down with the shop owners and communicating how special a product it is and asking them to give it a shot on their shelves. There’s a need for thoughtful, healthy, delicious food. And so far I’ve gotten great feedback.
What is one long-term (1-3 years) goal for your company?
This question is fun! Chocholistic is in its infancy, so retail packaging and consistent online reach have been the goals so far. But looking forward, I want Chocholistic to be known in the national market. I think “health food” has been smaller, niche products and it’s time for everyone to know about really good food. I want people to EXPECT superfoods. I want people to know the importance of Non-GMO and Raw Nutrition and not feel like they have to search to find it. We live in a time where good food needs to stand up for itself. The best way to do that is to make it fun to eat. I think that gives Chocholistic the green-light for growth
Is there anything else you would like to share with this refined-sugar free blog community?
It means a lot to me that people get to learn about my journey as it’s unfolding. Everything is new and exciting, which means there will be a lot going on in the next six months. Please join me on Facebook or via our Chocholistic Newsletter. At the very least, live with passion today and be confident in every decision you make. Namaste.