Back in 2006, Audrey Darrow, having just gone through radical surgery, radiation and chemotherapy for breast cancer, was working at a health food store in San Diego in the deli. Why? So she could get the employee discount to be able to afford the healthy foods she loved and believed would help keep her cancer-free. For what reason, she wondered, were all the organic, healthy, raw products she was purchasing so prohibitively expensive? Why shouldn’t everyone be able to afford to eat the kinds of food she bought? The wheels started turning and in 2007 Righteously Raw as a concept was born: healthy food at an affordable price, the way chocolate ought to be.
Starting in a small commercial facility that Audrey built from the ground up, we began producing our first bars (with our first iteration of labels!) and got immediate positive response. Here, we started to develop and implement one of our core company beliefs: That we put people first over profit. We only work with farms and growers who treat their employees well. As a manufacturer, we go above and beyond for all of our employees, offering full health care, 401K benefits, paid lunches, a stocked snack room, and paid vacation and sick days. We believe a happy employee is a productive employee, and that infectious positive energy in our facility is reflected in our chocolate.
Audrey’s daughter, Jaymie, passed away in 2008 and Audrey, instead of falling to negativity, continued to draw on her energy as fuel to keep Righteously Raw moving forward. The Rose Bar was created as a project of love and to this day sits on shelves with her story on the inner label.
As the years have gone by we’ve hit many milestones: outgrown two facilities, created awesome new products to add to our line, and added new people to our growing family. We continue to move forward with the same integrity and purpose we’ve had since day 1: striving to deliver the best, most affordable product with the finest ingredients into the hands of customers who value it most. We’ve had some missteps along the way (who hasn’t!?) but we hope that our passion for what we do shines through each and every time you unwrap a Righteously Raw Chocolate product.
If You Think You Can’t, Think Again
I would love to share my story of how I came to playing musical instruments at 60 years of age!!! I would love to hear your stories of things you went after and achieved against all odds and never thought you could achieve because people told you that it wasn’t possible. Send me an email or write me on Facebook. LinkedIn, Instagram or wherever @Righteously Raw Chocolate or [email protected].
I spent 57 years of my life thinking I was tone deaf!!! I was told over and over that I was not “musically inclined”, could not carry a tune, etc. etc. I became exactly that story of who I thought I was defined by those that didn’t believe in me. I became the biggest non- believer of me. Until one day I broke away from a long relationship and felt so free that I went out and bought a guitar just to see if I could play it. That was three years ago this month. I not only play acoustic and electric guitar now but also drums, a little bass, a little ukelele and I am learning Music Theory too. I play with jam bands and call myself a musician now!!! Moral of this writing is never take on someone else’s story about who they think you are!!!! Never believe you can’t do something because someone else said you can’t. I have no business degree and was told ten years ago I didn’t have what it takes to start a business. Well you know the outcome of that story(www.righteouslyrawchocolate.com). I started my company with a huge vision that I would build a food empire and I was told it was not possible because I lacked business education. For so many years I stifled myself in business because I became what others told me was not possible. I am back to believing that I will build my food empire even bigger than where it is today. I am a Visionary who has a dream for the future of food. Never again will I ever allow the words “I can’t” enter into my daily thoughts. Today I want to start a self-love movement to show the world IF YOU THINK YOU CAN’T, THINK AGAIN! I don’t want any of you to spend another day of your life believing that you can’t do something because someone else didn’t believe in you and told you it was not possible. My favorite song is sung by Nina Simone called Feeling Good. I play it every morning. Every day that I wake up is so exciting because I wonder what else can I achieve in this lifetime that I thought I couldn’t???? Make today and tomorrow a YES I CAN awesome day! Thanks for reading. Blessings, Audrey Darrow (Owner of Righteously Raw Chocolate).