How did you start making chocolate?
Synchronicity mixed with destiny, really. It all started back in August of 2012. Merissa was cashiering at a local healthfood store and two things were happening:
1. She noticed many customers could not eat anything packaged because it all had soy, gluten, peanuts, or some other common allergen. Merissa thought, wow these folks need something truly clean to enjoy.
2. As a single mother working at a grocery store, she could not afford to buy the raw chocolate in the store at that time, so Merissa started making her own. After researching, experimenting and sharing her concoctions, the feedback was so beautiful she decided to pursue cacao as a business; to share quality, clean products made with love, to show her daughter how rewarding it is to be a female entrepreneur, and to set a new purity standard for gourmet food and also define a new corporate standard in natural foods both internally and in the community. As the vision grew it included employing and mentoring women to enhance their empowerment, personal development, and business savvy. This vision is expanding now in 2019 to partner with an environmental charity and a women/children charity, which is currently in the works for the final quarter.
How are your raw chocolates different?
What we do is not like anything that exists in the chocolate universe. It is a supplement or medicinal food indulgence for healthy systemic stasis and longevity on multiple levels.
One difference is our signature manufacturing process. Merissa devised specific manufacturing practices to maintain the energetic quality of the incredible nutrition from our ingredients so these are truly raw chocolates, as opposed to the products which have been tempered/crystallized which are shelf stable for over 6 months or have stabilizers. Our chocolates are alive and full of amino acids and trace minerals; thus they are a refrigerated product.
Purity: Integrity Cacao chocolates are organic, fair trade, vegan, non-gmo, and soy/gluten/coconut free. Our purity promise means they contain no fillers. All the chocolates are free from any binders, alteratives, waxes, or preservatives of any kind.
Supplements: We use actual supplement products like concentrated turmeric, essential oils and berry extracts in our formulas.
Terroir: Our cacao is sourced from Ecuador and is wild harvested.
Simplicity: Our formulas are 3 to 5 ingredients, so they are very pure and potent. NO FILLERS!
Energy: You can feel the difference! When our clients imbibe these chocolates they get incredible physical and mental energy, because these are truly a living food product.
Enjoy: Yes, you can have chocolate and feel great about it! The new paradigm of health is allowance over deprivation. There is a reason the body craves different foods. Go for the high quality stuff; food is medicine after all.
Why Integrity as the name?
Merissa chose Integrity because this word carries a particular frequency of dedication, mindfulness, and quality. Integrity is our oath to purity of sourcing, ingredients used, and manufacturing practices producing the desired nutritional benefit. It is consumer education, sharing the immense abilities we have to heal our bodies and minds through proper nourishment. It is honoring the healing powers of foods and formulating chocolates with innovation and maximized health benefits on a biochemistry level. Our self-development program Integrity for Women also provides a combination of employment and mentorship opportunities to women in our community. Integrity is a deep concept, and represents our commitment as a business and a culture. We all can invest in our health, community, and longevity with a high integrity, intentional culture.