To our wonderful friends, customers and family, we wish you a very happy Holiday Season.
2011 has been a year of exciting growth for us. Not only have we moved into our new facility, but, as our business continues to grow and flourish, we've expanded the number of employees on our team. That amazing team is what made all this success possible. I feel very blessed by my association with all who work for me.
We're overwhelmed by the success of our new product launch and deeply gratified by the many customers who have written us to tell us how much they love what we have created. It's a special feeling when customers take the time to let us know how they feel.
We all wish our product developer, Adam Brener, and his father Aaron peace during this very difficult time. Aaron is on hospice but has a positive outlook and a spirit that is awakening and shining as it has never before. Over the last couple of years Aaron worked tirelessly in our production facility, but finally had to stop when cancer made it too difficult to continue working. Our thoughts and prayers will be with Aaron, Adam and their family during this poignant holiday.
Let us focus on 2012 as a year of peace, love, gratitude and service to others. We love all of you and wish you a very beautiful, joyous holiday season and a Happy New Year.
Blessings and peace,
We recently added a "Frequently Asked Questions" (FAQs) page to our site. Be sure and check them out to find answers to some interesting topics we've been asked about. We will continue to add FAQs to the list so if you have any questions for us, fire away.
We decided to use this newsletter to address a couple of our customers' most interesting, and frequently posed questions, our use of agave as our primary sweetener of choice and our "Fair Trade" status. Check out the following articles.
Agave has received some bad press and rightfully so. What? Oops, let me back up and point out that we do not use Agave, we use Raw Agave. When Raw Agave is heated, and can no longer be considered raw, it loses some of its most beneficial properties. The most notable loss is in the Glycemic Index (GI), which can shoot from 17 up to as high as 35 when heated.
Rather than being just "the sweetener of the month," organic raw Agave has several key benefits that align it as one of the major players in the global movement away from highly processed sugars and chemically produced artificial sweeteners.
Agave premium nectar is 1.4 to 1.6 times sweeter than sugar, so less is needed to achieve the desired sweetness, resulting in a 33 to 50 percent reduction in sugar calories.
Agave contains long-chain prebiotic inulin which, according to recent studies, has significant health benefits, including the prevention of bone loss, controlled insulin production, weight loss, and maintenance of a healthy digestive system. Agave also naturally contains calcium, iron and other trace minerals.
Agave is grown organically and sustainably, without the use of pesticides, GMOs, hormones or fertilizers. Our Agave growers use natural techniques to keep the Agave fields free of pesticides or harmful chemicals during the growth, harvesting and production. We work with growers whose tradition for sustainable farming practices is based on generations-old family connections to the land.
Young Agave saplings are expertly harvested from mature Agave and replanted in rested fields. Trimmings from each harvest are used as a natural soil conditioner. Fiber removed from milling is repurposed for other goods. Nature's Agave supports the local farming communities and strives to create fair pricing for hard-working Agave growers and their families.
As with all of our ingredients, our Agave is sustainably farmed. Social and economic responsibility is at the core of our brand.
We take certifications that impact people's health, beliefs and lifestyles very seriously. Unfortunately, many of these highly touted certifications are easily obtained - for a price. In some cases that's all it takes - pay a set amount and be "certified," often without the extra burden of an actual inspection to verify the condition being certified.
Take our Vegan Certification for example. We run a dedicated vegan facility and wanted this verified for our vegan customers' peace of mind so we took it one step further and paid an additional fee to have our entire facility inspected so it is a verified Vegan Certified.
Going that extra mile is the same approach we've taken with the Fair Trade question. While we believe they are a great organization and a good option for many companies, they are, in the final analysis, a certifying agency. As such, they charge a significant fee for their certification service.
We rather chose to go a step further by taking it upon ourselves to put that money directly into the pockets of the very same people that Fair Trade advocates helping. Putting it on a more personal level is more work but is infinitely more rewarding as well. Many good companies cannot afford to be Fair Trade certified but still buy ethically and do their part to protect the farmers and their families and promote fair trade.
Our direct contact approach cuts out the middle man and allows us to have a greater impact on the lives of the farmers and their families, while at the same time, keeping the price of our products to our valued customers as low as possible.
When you're as involved in, and as deeply dedicated to, producing healthy food choices for your customers as we are, literally hundreds of associated and related issues, concerns and situations come to our attention. There are so many, unfortunately, that it's impossible to dedicate all the time, effort, resources or even emphasis to them all that we would like. In this issue, we've tried to address just a few of those issues and concerns that have come to our attention over the past year. Some are global in scope - others are just personal.
Along those lines, Righteously Raw is joining with Breast Cancer Action, where we helped sponsor a recent event with both our chocolates and a donation. We believe in this organization and all that they do. Their relentless effort at peeling away much of the hype surrounding cancer research fund raising efforts (especially breast cancer) often makes them unwelcome participants at the usual self-satisfied, congratulatory back patting parties so often indulged in by many of those in the "Pink Tanks."
As a breast cancer survivor herself Righteously Raw founder, Audrey Darrow is appalled at how little meaning the PINK RIBBON now carries. She recalls back when she received a gift of a bracelet with a pink ribbon it meant so much to her.
Now it often just means profit for companies that flaunt their efforts in pink while at the same time using, or supporting carcinogenic ingredients suppliers and/or situations.
Check out Action Speaks Louder Than Pink: Food for Thought at Breast Cancer Action's site www.bcaction.org
Best Crew Makes the Best Chocolates!
None of our amazing success story would have been possible without the dedicated effort of our employees, past and present. Without their hard work the whole Righteously Raw experiment that we at ESO undertook a few years ago would have been little more than a dream.
Back when we started, Righteously Raw's network encompassed just a few stores. Now our raw chocolates can be found coast to coast, border to border and across the seas.
By way of introduction, the folks who are here every day, keeping the bars pouring out the door are, in no particular order:
Oscar Sanchez, our Chocolate Mold Specialist who makes sure there are always plenty of molds available,
Houlihan, our Head Chocolatier who masterfully constructs our raw chocolate bars,
Cody Meyers, our Shipping and Receiving guru who makes sure our goodies are where you go to buy them,
Brittany England, our Operations Manager who keeps the whole outfit humming along smoothly,
Dan England, who, as Sales Manager, makes sure distributors and vendors know about our products and keep them on their shelves,
Nikki McAllister, our Prep Specialist who assists in nearly every phase of our product preparation,
Eric Paramore, our Superfood Mixologist who keeps the proportions right,
Mark Adams, Co-Packing lead who works with our co-packaging partners and is indispensable in our production as well, and
Brad Mann, whose title, Jack of all Trades, pretty well tells the story. If it needs done, he'll do it.
Finally, there's Adam Brener, our longtime Director of Product Development and right hand man.
Oh yeah, then there's me, Audrey Darrow. I'm the President, but moreover, I'm the one who gets to look good thanks to this excellent family of dedicated employees.
When you were shopping for those necessary stocking stuffers, that Earth Source Organics' Righteously Raw bars are also available through online distributors?
If you spaced it, don't worry. After all, ANY time of year is perfect for our raw chocolate yumminess!
According to a November 11 article by John Phillip in Natural News, chocolate consumption lowers stroke risk and heart disease incidence by a third. Phillip noted that there is now evidence explaining how dark chocolate consumption lowers the risk of stroke in women and slashes heart disease risk in adults. Researchers publishing in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found high chocolate consumption correlates with a lower risk of stroke in women.
Also, further proof of vascular benefits has been documented in the British Medical Journal as scientists explain that chocolate consumption lowers heart disease risk by more than a third.
Righteously Raw is pleased to report that we "Rawked" at the recent Natural Products Expo East held in Baltimore. Our new bite sized offerings (Pure Dark, Divine Mint and Synergy Spice), the chocolate dipped Coconut Macaroons and our exciting Rawcholatl beverage all sold like hotcakes and we've been supercharged getting them out to stores.
Especially hot are the calls coming in for our Righteously raw chocolate dipped Coconut Macaroons. Evidently, people are flat falling in LOVE!!!!! They are coming to stores near you so give them a try.
Comments greeting the new goodies on the block are reflected by Mickey D Walker when he said "Get outta here! Raw chocoloate dipped macs???"
And, let's not forget our reliable standbys. For instance, Annette St-Pierre said, "Just met and fell absolutely in love with the Rose Bar," while Leiba R. told us, "Didn't think I'd like raw chocolate, but just tried the Açaí Bar and it is AMAZING!" and Eileen Clark said, "OMG! Your Maca Chocolate Bar is amazing!"
Rebecca Gilbert of Yummyplants.com shared the following, "I was really excited to find these raw vegan caramel bars by Righteously Raw! They are organic, raw, dairy-free, soy-free, kosher, and gluten free chocolates! I found them at my local Whole Foods, but if you don't have a Whole Foods near you, there is a place at their website where you can type in your zip code to find a nearby distributor."
"I really like that the chocolate is made with low glycemic sweeteners like coconut sugar, Agave, coconut nectar, dates, figs and raisins. Raw chocolate = healthy indulgence. I can give my body some whole enzymes, vitamins and minerals while I get my chocolate fix. It's a win-win!"
Earth Source Organics is the proud distributor of Vigilant Eats Gluten-Free Cereal and Luchi Organics Protein Powders!!!
Once again it's time for all of us here at Righteously Raw to wish you all a blessed Solstice, a joyous Holiday Season and a prosperous, healthy and peaceful New Year.
Tried our new chocolates? Rawcholatl, Chocolate Covered Macaroons or our Bite Size Raw Chocolates: Devine Mint, Pure Dark or Synergy Spice? My favorites are the macaroons... I can't stop eating them!
MASTER CRAFTERS OF THE UNFORGETABLY DELICIOUS
Righteously Raw™ Chocolates