The Spirit of Cacao is a raw chocolatier in Litchfield, NH – all chocolates are handmade to order! A long way from home, Kurt Haddad, the founder, got his inspiration from Nosara, Costa Rica, where he learned how to make delicious, healthy chocolates, using superfoods like chia seeds, maca, honey, spirulina, flaxseed, and, of course, raw cacao.
So what are the benefits of raw cacao?
- It is most powerful antioxidant on the planet, which helps fight cancer and heart disease
- It is the highest plant based source of iron
- It is high in Magnesium which is mineral most people in our western culture are low on
- It is a natural mood elevator and aphrodisiac
YUM! The Spirit of Cacao uses a variety of other yummy ingredients like mango, dates, and even mushrooms! Or, if you’d rather stick to the classics, they also offer products like Peanut Butter Squares made of almonds, coconut, sunflower seeds, and peanut butter blended together and dipped in chocolate and topped with banana chips.
Okay, we could really go for some of those with a tall glass of almond milk right about now!
The full line of The Spirit of Cacao products include:
- Dark Ascension – Dark chocolate made with ground cacao bean unprocessed to retain more of their nutrients. This chocolate was made with the Mayan cacao ceremonial rituals in mind.
- Crescent Moon – Cacao powder, cacao butter, cashews, coconut, coconut oil, vanilla, honey, salt, mucuna powder.
- Almond Mint – Almonds, flaxseed, spirulina, mint leaf, tahini, maca, and mucuna make this mint chocolate a powerful one.
- Banana Rock – Cacao powder cacao butter, banana chips, tahini, cashews, coconut, coconut oil, honey, salt, mucuna powder.
- Cherry Bomb – A real black cherry lies in the center of a flaxseed, spirulina, chia-seed raisin, almond, coconut, and tahini super-food ball of nutrients covered in chocolate.
Try all their Best Sellers – Peanut Butter Square, Cherry Bomb, Banana Rock, Crescent Moon
To find out more about The Spirit of Cacao, we asked founder Kurt Haddad a few questions!
Who are the business founders and when did you launch the business?
I, Kurt W Haddad, am the founder of The Spirit of Cacao. It started in April of 2014 in the form of expressing ideas and manifesting them to officially Launch in September of 2014.
What inspired you to start your business?
Taking part in a meditation & yoga retreat and my many other experiences during a 3 month excursion in Nosara, Costa Rica inspired me to start The Spirit of Cacao. I traveled more than 2,400 miles away to work in the jungle at a yoga “studio” I had never been to; After a 2 hour taxi ride, a 5 hour bus ride, and after being in 2 airplanes for what seemed like forever, I finally made it to this wonderfully alive and almost fully self-sustainable village so effortlessly placed in the jungle.
They placed me in their superfood smoothie & raw cacao cafe named Wild Treats. I found myself doing the same thing I was doing at home, except, of course, in this beautiful place. Before working with Wild Treats’ superfood chocolates, I had been making banana bread ice cream sandwiches dipped in chocolate and while the sandwiches were delicious, I realized they were not very nutritious.
After feeling the benefits of cleansing my body with organic and raw foods for 43 days while I worked at this raw cacao cafe, I was convinced that the world needed an alternative chocolate and one that tastes even better than the normal name-brand chocolate bar and that was far better for you!
Where do you currently make your product and how did you find the process of finding a kitchen to be like?
I currently make the product out of my own licensed kitchen in my home. I did have to research the regulations a bit and had to have automatic door closers put in, but the rest of the equipment was already in place.
Did you have a background in the food/drink industry when you started?
At 15 I was working at a local Dunkin Donuts (not exactly the raw, organic, healthy foods I’m surrounded by now)! Almost 12 years later, I am now working full time out of my kitchen and have had experience working at the Wild Treats kitchen as well.
A business idea that was left on the editing room floor?
The Banana Bread ice cream sandwiches. I know I could come up with a healthier version now, but chocolates are easier to work with because there’s no ice cream to keep from melting!
What are some examples of rookie mistakes you made when starting out?
When you start something new, whatever it may be, there is always a little anxiety to be expected. You’re moving out of a comfort zone of into a new place. So just dig in and never stop chasing after that dream. There were several times where I failed, hesitated, or just got discouraged. The best advice is the road is never over, keep moving forward. If you feel discouraged, you should stop for a moment, look back, and see how far you’ve come!
Your biggest business challenge to date?
Everything is handmade to order. These shelf life of superfood chocolates is short because there are raw ingredients. Without any sort of refrigeration, they can go bad within six weeks. However, they can be stockpiled if frozen and kept that way for up 5 months.
How do you stay motivated in the face of competition?
The ingredients speak for themselves, in more than just taste. I take everything as a learning experience.
What’s the strangest customer request or feedback you’ve gotten?
One customer asked, “Do you cater?” I had never thought of catering before this question.
What’s your main business goal for 2015?
Secure a bigger customer base, upgrade and streamline packaging, and upgrade kitchen equipment.
Where do you see the business in 10 years?
I see us providing weekly deliveries of delicious chocolates to several small shops, local farmstands, and cafes.
What’s your team or company motto/mantra?
Make healthy chocolates!
Advice for someone with a great artisan food or drink idea?
Go for it! Let’s be friends! Can I have some? =)
TRY THE SPIRIT OF CACAO NOW!
Shop for The Spirit of Cacao on Undiscovered Kitchen (Shipping always included!)