Founder: Christy Goldsby
Year founded: 2013
Product description: Your favorite candy bar went to a meditation retreat and came back enlightened.
Yearly sales: Annual revenue is somewhere near $3 million.
Is it profitable?: Megan McGarry, the company's digital marketing manager, says, "Sales are growing rapidly and operations are sustainable."
Available at: Over 1,300 retailers nationally, including Market of Choice, Natural Grocers, New Seasons, Sheridan Fruit Company, Green Zebra, Whole Foods and Zupan's
Christy Goldsby just wanted a dessert that wouldn't make her sick.
In the early 2000s, the then-bakery owner realized food allergies were affecting her health in a big way, and the culprits were the main ingredients on her cafe's shelves.
"I loved what I did at the bakery," Goldsby says, "but I couldn't eat sugar or wheat without feeling awful."
So Goldsby started experimenting with unconventional chocolate bar recipes.
"I started to realize there was an absolute void of anything as delicious as pastries," she says, "that were devoid of food allergens like gluten, dairy and grains."
It took Goldsby two-and-a-half years to craft the foundational recipe for Honey Mama's, which she first tested at local farmers markets. Five years later, after adding a new flavor to the line each year, Goldsby had expanded to thousands of grocery stores across the country.
Instead of cane sugar, Honey Mama's bars are sweetened with honey and coconut oil, and achieve a dreamy-smooth consistency that's a little like butter. Because Goldsby uses only raw ingredients, the sweets must stay in the refrigerator.
The simpler flavors—Peruvian Raw, Dutch and CocoNoNut—are some of the best, and evoke a "down to your bellybutton"-type comfort. Almonds and coconut nibs add a welcome crunch to what is essentially a fudge bar.
Other flavors, like a cayenne Mayan Spice, Oregon Peppermint, Lavender Red Rose, Nibs and Coffee and Ginger Cardamom, provide potent punches of flavor, without any hint of artificiality—you'll taste every little rosebud and cardamom pod.
Guilty pleasure snack: "I'm a potato chip and Snickers bar person."
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