Honeymoon Chocolates Is a Labor of Love

cam and hayley

For Cam and Haley Loyet, chocolate is the gift that keeps on giving. The two met as undergrads at Illinois Wesleyan University, where Cam gave Haley a pack of cocoa nibs for her birthday. They made their first batch of chocolates a few months later in a 5×10-foot dorm room kitchen shared by almost 100 other students.

The couple’s childhood experiences with sweets played a role in how the two approached their chocolate creations. While Haley’s family has a background in desserts, Cam grew up in a household that limited sugar intake. Fusing their history together, the two began making honey-sweetened chocolates.

“It was always our intention to use an alternative sweetener, like agave, monk fruit or maple syrup,”said Cam.“There just so happened to be a local apiarist that we were buying honey from at the time. We ended up buying from them for a lot of our test batches while in college.”

bee boxes

Their Clayton, Missouri-based company, which specializes in bean-to-bar craft chocolate, became official in 2016 when the two were awarded a grant at Illinois Wesleyan. “That pushed our idea a little bit further,” said Cam.

The two came up with the name Honeymoon Chocolates when they were dating. “We thought it was fun and romantic,” said Cam.

Needless to say, when the Loyet’s tied the knot two years later, they gave out their homemade chocolates as wedding favors.

Giving back is central to their mission. The company, which now has a large storefront, donates a portion of proceeds to the Pollinator Partnership, a nonprofit dedicated to the protection and preservation of species that help plants reproduce, including honeybees.

“[Pollinator Partnership] works to educate and outreach nationwide on how to become beekeepers,” explained Cam. Working with the local bee industry also gave the couple more insight and transparency about their cocoa beans, which are sourced from Haiti, Peru, Colombia and Belize.

honeymoon chocolate bars

“We wanted to get the same data that we got from our beekeepers for the cocoa that we use – where it was coming from, who made it, and what the impact of sourcing it was – and expand that into our business model,” said Cam. “We publish the price that is paid to the farmers. Just by using honey, we learned that these practices are really important along the supply chain.”

Honeymoon Chocolates’ sweet offerings include the 70% Peru + Raspberry, a bestselling dark chocolate bar that pays homage to the flourless chocolate cakes that Cam ate growing up. Other fan favorites include the 75% Haiti + Coffee bar (with close to 300 mg of caffeine for coffee lovers) and the 77% Uganda bar. All of their chocolates are wrapped in fully compostable packaging.

“What we love about buying single origin cocoa is that it’s really down to the region where the cocoa’s grown, how it’s harvested, roasted and fermented,” said Cam. “This is the dialogue that we’re trying to create with the consumer – understanding that craft chocolate can have different renditions, different takes on it, but still taste incredible.”

AUTHOR

Marc Cuenco

Marc Cuenco is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer with over 10 years of experience covering pop culture, food, fashion and lifestyle. A healthcare professional by day, Marc spends his free time taking photos of his puppy Chandler and exploring L.A.’s diverse food scene.

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