In Focus: Nibble Chocolate Preview

by Rene Zimbelman

Nibble Chocolate isn’t a name you’re likely to forget anytime soon. It stays in your head much like the taste of their chocolate lingers deliciously in your mouth. This is just how owners David Mejia and Sandra Bedoya want it, a chocolate experience where you take your time and savor every bite. It’s written right there in the company name.

Based out of San Diego, CA, Nibble creates chocolate with only two ingredients, organic cane sugar and organic cacao beans sourced from Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Madagascar and Peru. You won’t find chocolate much purer — or as David and Sandra describe it, “naked, honest.”

“Our mission with Nibble from the start was to create both healthy and delicious chocolate.”

A Personal Health Journey

Before Nibble existed, however, David and Sandra needed to embark on their own personal health journeys.

“Years ago, we used to eat with no dietary restrictions, basically anything we liked. And with the invincibility of youth on our sides, for a long time we hadn’t felt like we needed to change. But David became overweight and began to frequently experience heartburn attacks. And I was plagued by low energy, along with migraines and stomach and muscle aches…”

The rising health issues led the couple to re-evaluate dietary choices, and like many of us today, they took the first big step by replacing sugary sodas with water instead. They then reduced quick trips to fast food restaurants and started watching food documentaries like Food Matters, The Beautiful Truth, Super Size Me, and Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. Determined to lead healthier lives, David and Sandra started to make radical changes.

 “For starters, we went on a week water fast to detox, continued by a two-week juice fast, transitioning then to a 100% raw diet where we ate only raw fruits and vegetables.”

A bit later they introduced grains and nuts, but all sodas, sugary juices, meats or animal products (except seafood), dairy, fast foods, and artificial GMO ingredients stayed permanently off the menu.

“We became pretty picky but felt so much better. David lost 60 pounds and never had heartburn attacks again. To this date, we’re pescatarian and always strive to eat high quality and real food, still enjoying the occasional treat.”

Chocolate Strawberry Beginnings

Little did they know back then, but that lifestyle change actually cleared the path for Nibble. First, David and Sandra needed to decide which path to take. The only thing they knew for certain, after their move to San Diego in the summer of 2013, was that they wanted to start their own business. The most important criteria? It had to be something they were both passionate about.

They researched several ideas, but with no attachment to any of them, nothing stuck… until one day, while eating chocolate-covered strawberries.

“We loved chocolate covered strawberries, and the idea of making our own lit us up. Being such a healthy super food, it completely aligned with our food obsession. In the past, we’d searched for a healthier snack and had a hard time finding chocolate brands that focused on maximizing the amazing benefits cocoa provides. The potential for creating something valuable and healthy in a saturated market, where chocolate had acquired a bad reputation from misuse… it meshed with our entrepreneurial spirit.”

Sandra felt that entrepreneurial spirit even as a child, not surprisingly, with chocolate. Strangely enough, from ages twelve to seventeen, she sold her own chocolate at school, both in class and during breaks (although technically of course, it wasn’t allowed). In fact, she ran into trouble with her school several times, but it didn’t matter — she still sold plenty, because everyone knew she always had chocolates in tow.

Back to Nibble… as David and Sandra researched more business possibilities, the potential chocolate endeavor clearly led the way, and they fell in love with everything from flavor profiles to the whole in-depth tasting experience of chocolate. That, coupled with the idea of doing it as healthily and purely as possible, finally brought Nibble to life.

“The food industry has become so cost-oriented that values associated with the environment, working conditions or product quality have been lost. We witness this, for example, when companies purchase cacao beans at very low rates from farms whose workers are getting paid almost nothing. Or when a chocolate bar calls itself chocolate and contains11% cocoa, with the rest of the ingredients a combination of dairy, sugar and artificial flavors.”

Double Nibble

David and Sandra’s dream to provide a delicious, healthy alternative was soon underway, but like all dreams, hard work and struggle first led the way. For the healthy couple, that struggle meant months of failed chocolate-making in their home kitchen. They studied and learned, both officially through courses at Ecole Chocolat (chocolate making and chocolatier classes) and independently via their own research.

That research included many purchases of cacao from differing origins, and also included testing the beans with different roasting profiles. When all was said and done, they selected the origins with the best tasting profiles, but, in keeping with their philosophy, made certain they only used cacao from farms with fair worker wages and certified organic beans.

“Eventually, we created a decent bar customers loved, and by the summer of 2014, had our first sales at local farmers’ markets. It was exciting. A hectic journey of learning and improving, yes, but mostly a dream come true for us.”

Nibble proudly claims that all their beans are ethically sourced: Brazil and Madagascar are family estates who pay fair wages; Dominican Republic and Peru are fair trade certified, and their origins are certified organic and vegan. Understandably, deciding on where to source their beans took a lot of time and research.

“We first purchased beans from an online store at higher prices, but while deciding on our own resources, we visited Peru, which is now one of our most popular origins; we met farmers and had the full experience, which we summarized here in this link.”

https://www.nibblechocolate.com/nibble_chocolate_peruvian_nibbles/

They also visited a farm in Colombia, their home country, from whom they purchased Colombian beans to use in their limited edition bar. Sorry, folks, they already sold out of that one, but not to worry, they consistently offer their other single origin bars with 72%, 77% and 85% cocoa.

Our mission with Nibble from the start was to create both healthy and delicious chocolate.

Sandra Bedoya

Nibble Chocolate

Stay in touch with NibbleChocolate at the links below —

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nibblechocolate

Twitter: https://twitter.com/nibblechocolate

Google+: https://plus.google.com/+Nibblechocolatesd

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/nibblechocolate/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyWvZgRsilSy1efdECZYIWg

Email
info@nibblechocolate.com

Store Address
Nibble Chocolate
Fiesta de Reyes/Casa de Reyes
2754 Calhoun St.
San Diego CA 92110

MAY 2017 ISSUE PREVIEW