HOT CHOCOLATE OR THERAPY
I create products around what I use every day in my family of 5. Our hot chocolate was no different. Our 3 Kids always crave and ask for hot chocolate in the winter time. Each time they asked, it felt like I kept saying no, because I did. You know when you are walking down the aisle in the grocery store and the kids asking for almost anything they see on the shelves? "Mom, please! Can we get this?" Grumblings, complaining, then acceptance...
Leave that aisle, only to arrive at the next, "Mom, please! Can we get THIS?" Grumblings, complaining, then redirect their tactics! I feel like I need "grocery boot camp" training. You have to be well-trained, and prepared for all tactics at the grocery store. Smiles, complaints, tantrums, best behavior ever, sweet pleases...
Grocery bill is always more when I bring the kids (Sorry to my hubby!)
Have you noticed, they are like a magnet to the bad stuff! The shiny boxes, sugar cereals, grocery store hot chocolate. Like a broken record, I kept saying, "Sorry, but that just isn't good for you!"
I didn't want my kids to miss out on that yummy, hot cup of cocoa. You know the perfect sweetness that makes any winter day better. If their memory was only, 'mom said no', one day they may resent me for that cup of hot chocolate! I have always laughed that while we save for college, we also should create a "therapy" fund, to cover all our parenting mistakes! We welcome therapy donations instead of parenting advice...
If I could only give my kids hot chocolate that I approve of...
Hot chocolate or Therapy? That is the question. Before they splurge on hot chocolate in their college years, making up for lost time, I decided to make it myself.
A PRODUCT IS BORN
Determined to still make it taste yummy, for the pallet of three kids, I went to work. Testing creations, tweaking it, each time to make it better. Hoping to create a recipe that is ready to go, making it easy to add to any milk, was a must. It's got to be easy!
Here is what bothered me about the store bought stuff.
Rather than get into my nerdy, nutritionist brain, I will keep it simple! Unless you prefer, I could write a 20 page blog post, to which no one would read it...Simple is better anyways. You can research any one of these things.
Maybe it bothers you too? Here is what bothers me about the store bought stuff.
1) Artificial Ingredients
In order to achieve a particular flavor, they add fake flavorings. Maybe it benefits the bottom line to have cheap artificial ingredients. For me, I don't get it. As a consumer, I want pure real ingredients. As a business owner, I feel like it lacks integrity to use cheap and artificial to make a few bucks. Not to mention, I think REAL tastes better.
2) Processed Dairy
For me and my family, we feel better when we don't have a lot of dairy. Among other things, I learned over many years of researching, dairy can be inflammatory, hard to digest, and cause allergies. Our kids didn't have a severe allergy, but we were definitely sensitive. For us, we often make our hot chocolate with Unsweetened Almond Milk! When creating our hot chocolate, I left the dairy out!
3) Artificial Sweeteners
Back to the fake stuff. Half the time, I can't even pronounce the ingredients on the back. When you have to GOOGLE it, maybe you might not want it in your body!
4) Man-made Oils
Not to beat a dead horse, but I don't have a horse. I have one body that needs to last me 90+ years! Man-made hydrogenated oils, you may recognize better termed "trans fats". Tons out there about the harmful affects of trans fats. Why does it have to be in hot chocolate? It doesn't, unless, it is cost efficient for a companies' bottom line. That just isn't my style. If I don't want my kids to have it in their body, you probably don't either.
5) Refined Sugars
Refined sugars are part of saying no to my kids There are a variety of better sweeteners available. I didn't like that the typical hot chocolate uses the highly processed white table sugar. When I started testing my own, I think the richness in flavors increases with natural sweeteners. My preferences are to use a variety. Organic Maple, Coconut Sugars, Raw Honey, Organic Turbinado, Organic Coconut Nectar, and real fruits.
This is what inspires me. When I see a long list of stuff I don't want in my body or my kids body, then I am determined to make something better.
The fun part has been in the testing! My kids will never give up their role as testers. Each batch has to be tested before it goes to market. Yeah! Having enough hot chocolate to fill their bellies, removed them from future therapy! I am happy. They are happy!
Once we perfected our hot chocolate, we started taking it to market. Letting customers taste samples, and seeing their delight and happiness, is one of my favorite things. Then, when they hear it's does not contain dairy, gluten, soy, or artificial stuff, they are shocked.
If they haven't been able to have hot chocolate because they are allergic to dairy, soy, or gluten, their response is shock, glee, happiness, and excitement! Not kidding, customers have almost fallen over because they loved their sample. They love that it is made from Organic Cacao from Ecuador. Can you imagine not being able to eat chocolate or drink hot chocolate for years? The world becomes a beautiful place again when chocolate is in it! Finally, something they can indulge in, too!
And that is how our Hot Chocolate product was born.