About 5 years ago, we took the first step to creating Not Your Sugar Mamas when we applied for an LLC. By April, we had a logo and a website, which we launched the day before our first big event - the MV Health Fair.
Bennett made chocolate in big sheet pans which we chopped into tiny pieces for sampling. People kept coming back for more and everyone was asking where they could buy it. "BUY IT?" ... we hadn't thought about that! After that we knew we had to get it together. By June, we had created three flavors: Be Original, Be Sexy, and Be Cool, which we wrapped in brown paper and sealed with homemade labels.
Bennett made chocolate bars in small batches. We wrapped them and then drove as fast as we could to local stores. (Summer, refrigerated chocolate - ahh melting!) By the end of the summer we had sold our bars to 13 stores.
That fall, Ky loaded her old beater car with chocolate and stopped by every little health food store from MV to Western MA and back, doing demos along the way, while Bennett worked non-stop making & shipping chocolate from the island to fill orders to our new found stores.
By winter, we had outgrown Bennett's parents’ kitchen in Edgartown. We found the perfect spot in Vineyard Haven, where our chocolate factory remains today.
One thing that has helped us get here: our promise to ourselves to celebrate every small win - from the first chocolate bar, to the first order, to the first off island account, to making it to 5 years!
Thank YOU for your support throughout the years!
Keepin' it real,
Ky & Bennett
We know most of our customers are label readers on food - but do you hold your beauty products to the same standards? We are learning so much about the beauty industry from our friend Tara Foley who founded Follain, a healthy skincare retail store in Boston, DC and Nantucket. Tara was shocked by the unsafe ingredients in U.S. beauty industry, which eventually led her to open up her own company which has strict standards about the type of ingredients allowed in the products sold at her stores --- no cheap fillers and chemicals! We can relate with her on that philosophy! Sounds like how we feel about the ingredients we put into our food!
To help nourish our skin from the inside out, we are teaming up with Follain stores this Thursday (2/18) for a DIY face mask tutorial and education session about two of our favorite superfoods, cacao and rose. We will be at her Beacon Hill location, but all of the other stores will be doing the event as well. In the meantime, be sure to read this interview with Tara to be inspired to choose healthy ingredients, inside and out!
Why is it so important to be careful about what we put on our skin and hair?
Skin is our largest organ! Just like the food we eat, the ingredients we feed our skin can be helpful or harmful. We believe in the importance of feeding our skin nourishing, vitamin-rich ingredients -- to protect it, and make it glow!
Plus, there is little-to-no regulation of the beauty industry in the U.S. In the E.U. and elsewhere, they've banned tons of ingredients (over 1,300 in the E.U.) from beauty products, because they consider these ingredients too toxic to consume. In the U.S., we've only banned 11 ingredients. This means we need to take extra responsibility for our own beauty ingredient consumption -- reading labels, and purchasing from brands and retailers we trust.
How have you seen your industry change since you’ve started your company?
I started writing about this industry in 2009, via my blog The Naturalchemyst. Back then, many of the brands Follain carries didn't even exist! Since then -- and especially since opening Follain in July 2013 -- many more healthy beauty brands and retailers have emerged. The industry is finally catching up to demand. People have taken much more responsibility for their health, through diet and exercise, and are now ready to begin taking responsibility for the ingredients consumed through beauty and household products!
Whats the first cosmetic item you recommend someone to change to something healthier?
We get that question a lot at Follain. Learning about all the toxic ingredients in conventional products can be daunting. It may seem expensive and time consuming to throw away all your products and begin from scratch. This is why we recommend that you begin the switch with deodorant, soap, and then the other products you wear most. Some people wear tons of makeup, and should look to begin switching that ASAP. Others may not wear much makeup, and should begin with their lotions, aftershaves, and anything else that sits on their skin all day.
What inspired you to start this business/become interested in what you were putting on your body?
I was so invested in diet and exercise -- shopping for local organic produce, practicing yoga, and racing triathlons. Then I realized how counterintuitive it was to slather toxic beauty ingredients all over my skin, when I was concerned with fueling my body with the best ingredients possible. This realization -- paired with information about how harmful beauty ingredients and packaging are to the earth -- got me fired up to educate myself, and as many other people as possible. I knew stores were the best venue for this education, because of the one-on-one interaction you get in a store.
Have you ever wanted to make your own chocolate truffles but didn't know how?! This recipe is super easy (almost fool proof) and uses only five ingredients and one pot!
We love these truffles for a few different reasons. First off, they are the perfect texture - soft, super rich, creamy, and magically melt in your mouth in the most decadent way. They are the perfect combination of rich dark chocolate and subtle rose. We think they'd make the perfect Valentine's day dessert for a romantic dinner or just shared with your gal pals or co-workers for a mind blowing treat that is packed with nutrients! They can be stored at room temperature which make them easy to give as a handmade gift wrapped in foil or in a pretty box.
Did you know rose essential oil is the highest frequency food of any natural substance? What does that mean exactly?! To keep it simple, every thing has a frequency because everything vibrates (because everything is made of atoms!). You, me, plants,etc. The human body = 62-72 MHz (unit of measurement), rose = 320 MHz! Think of it as concentrated life force. Consuming it or smelling it can helps raise your vibration (which improves health and immunity). Rose oil is known to be a natural antidepressant, aphrodisiac, and anti-viral and more. We use a teeny tiny bit in a whole batch of chocolate, so don't worry, you wont vibrate away but we do hope you enjoy the health benefits and uplifting qualities of rose.
These truffles are:
rich & creamy
1 Rose Maca bar - finely chopped
1 TBS coconut oil
1 TBS + tsp coconut butter*
1 TBS maple Syrup
1 TBS raw cacao powder (Plus extra for dusting)
1. Start by getting all the ingredients prepared, chop the chocolate bar and measure out the ingredients. The next process uses the heat from the coconut oil in step 2 to melt the rest of the ingredients. So you'll need those ready to go, in order to not have to reheat the chocolate (which can compromise the integrity of the chocolate).
2. Melt the coconut oil over low heat until it is melted and hot 1-2 minutes.
3. Take the coconut oil off the heat completely and in the same saucepan add the coconut butter and mix quickly until completely integrated.
4. Immediately add the chocolate and stir until melted.
5. Add the cacao powder and stir until combined.
6. Add the maple syrup and stir until combined. Immediately place in fridge.
7. Take the chocolate out after it is in solid form (not liquid). Use a tablespoon to scoop out a ball. Form bar with hands until you form a truffle. Place on plate and repeat until all chocolate is used. Place chocolate back in fridge for a minute.
7. Optional: Dump some raw cacao powder into a bowl. Take out the balls from the fridge and toss with the raw cacao powder until coated.
Serve at room temperature. Store in the fridge covered (chocolate can take on other flavors easily) up to 14 days.
*you can alternatively just use 1/4 cup coconut oil total. The truffles will be much softer so be sure to keep them in the fridge until you serve them.
We hope you love this recipe. Keep in touch with us @notyoursugarmamas (instagram) or @notursugrmamas (twitter) #notyoursugarmamas
Keepin' it real,
Ky & Bennett
P.S. We are excited to announce that we will be a part of health expert Robyn Youkilis's Go with Your Gut book launch party with best selling author Gabrielle Bernstein! If you are in the area, its going to be a great event! You can sign up here.
P.P.S. Don't miss out on our Valentine's Day limited edition bark.
Hey ya'all. Ever wonder which superfood you need most? We've broken it down by feelings. Eating your nutrients beats popping a pill because your body absorbs the nutrients in their whole form.
Energy: Raw Cacao contains a high source of magnesium. According to population studies, 30% of Americans aren't getting enough. Low magnesium levels are a common cause of low energy levels since this mineral has more than 300 uses in the body. Pure raw cacao is the one of the highest food sources of magnesium.Maca is also a great energy enhancer + stamina builder.
Protein + Repair: Grab something packed with nuts or coconut. Cacao also has protein and helps curb appetite and speed up metabolism and repair muscles.
Happy 2016! We wrapped up another year and our reflecting a bit. This one was a big one for us! And we are excited to see what this year will bring.
Here is a little wrap up!
5 top highlights of 2015
1. We launched our organic superfood chocolate bars nationally (!!!). We got picked up by the nations largest natural distributor in March and spent most of the year gearing up for that launch. We sent out the first order in September and now are distributed in all 50 states!
2. We launched our mini bars!
3. We won an award from Clean Eating Magazine for their Clean Choice Awards for our Salted Caramel bar.
4. We hired our best and largest staff ever!
5. We launched new cookie flavors!
What we are looking foreword to in 2016
- Launching new flavors of chocolate bars
- Reopening retail!
- Expanded our production space
- a cookbook!!?!
We want to send your our deepest appreciation for staying with us along the ride. Couldn't have done anything without out YOU. We wish you a wonderful 2016!
Keepin' it real,
Ky & Bennett
1 1/4 cup cashew date milk (or your choice of milk)
1/2 frozen banana
1/2 cup frozen cherries
2 TBS raw cacao powder
1 TBS ground flax seed
1 cup spinach
1/4 tsp vanilla
1tbs almond butter
Blend and enjoy!