Wednesday, March 25, 2015

MAKERS + MOVERS: THE SWEETNESS OF BEING


makers + movers is a series that feature makers of clean products of integrity, thought, + passion which then move the world towards a higher consciousness . . .

would be slightly concerned with the listless love for chocolate that I have been publicly professing on here, but then I would not be able to unashamedly gush over The Sweetness of Being. I first discovered Sarah's magical chocolate from the equally magical Moon Juice. I noshed on [and tried to make last through the Winter/Spring] the rose + white Incan bars, while I shared the love by gifting the pepita + peanut butter bars as I cannot have them. I was thanked listlessly through thankful chocolate-filled mouths.

Sarah crafts each batch of her chocolate lovingly at her home kitchen using the highest quality of wild-crafted + organic ingredients and stone-ground organic cacao. The result is a cosmic circle of chocolate that breaks apart as softly as it melts in your mouth. It equally breaks apart my little heart when the last bite is chomped away, leaving my finger squishing away at the paper to pick up chocolate crumbs. This is an accurate depiction of my end-state. I would like to shrink myself at this point to transform those crumbs into giant pieces of chocolate morsels to hold in my miniature tummy. YES!

Here is the sweet soul behind The Sweetness of Being + my listless chocolate-induced ramblings . . .



SARAH ENGELHART, THE SWEETNESS OF BEING | Venice, CA

Q: Tell us a little bit about you + how you began making chocolate.

I started making chocolate with Café Gratitude in San Francisco, where I was trained by an immaculate chocolatier named Rebecca whom I consider to be a real-life ninja.

Q: What inspired the name The Sweetness of Being?
The intention to live from the sweetness of my innermost Being and to share love with others . . .

Q: Where do you source your ingredients from + why is sustainability so important in your process? 
The wildflower honey comes from a solar powered honey farm in Filmore, Ca and is gravity extracted without being heated. The cacao I use is not considered raw, but is fermented and lightly roasted. It comes from a family-owned cacao farm in Mexico which has restored their ancestral tradition of growing and preparing cacao.

I source the organic mucuna pruriens that I use from Sun Potion, an amazing high integrity company run out of Santa Barbara. The organic food grade essential oils I use are mostly from a company in the UK, it actually takes 60 rose buds to produce a single drop of rose essential oil. I only use one drop per batch because of it’s potency. I try to find the highest quality ingredients because it is really important to me to participate in a sustainable relationship with the Earth. She is our mother and without consuming consciously, we are destroying our own bodies. 

Q: What’s the experience of crafting chocolate like for you? 
It is definitely a work of joy. I have always had a deep love of chocolate, it’s robust scent, the richness of flavor, the way it brings me into my heart. Interestingly the farmer is really the one who is responsible for the flavor of a chocolate bar. Through their process of cultivation, fermentation and roasting. 

Q: Tell us about the intricate designs on your chocolate moulds.
One is the aztec sun stone, also known as the aztec calendar. It is known to be a map of liberation for the human soul. There is a cacao shaman of sorts and a beautiful Eagle holding a snake, which to me represents victory over one’s lower aspects. 



Q: How has chocolate changed or shaped your life? 
It has increased my appreciation for the farmers' work. Each batch I get varies from season to season, it is amazing to experience the different ways that the same tree’s fruit can taste depending on how it is cultivated, harvested, fermented and ground.

Q: What keeps you going? Do you have a daily routine or a mantra? 
I have a meditation practice that never ceases to amaze me. It’s taken a long time to really make it a routine, but now I experience such joy from it that I can’t imagine my life without it. There is a quote from a philosopher that inspires my practice. “Man, know thyself and thou shalt know the universe and God.”

Q: What are some of your favourite snacks or foods that fuel your creative process?
I recently discovered a gluten free sourdough bread that have been enjoying a lot of, breadSRSLY, which is amazing. Topped with a little organic nut butter, yum. 

Q: Where do you gather inspiration for crafting new flavours? What are some other chocolates that you enjoy noshing on? 
I absolutely love the Bliss Compound in Long Beach, Zen Bunni biodynamic chocolate, Madre chocolate has a bar where they add the dried fruit of the cacao into one of their amazing bars, and I recently tasted Parliament chocolate which delighted my tastebuds in an extraordinary way. Oh yes, and the delightful artisan chocolatier Wild Omen. I do love chocolate. 

Q: What are your three staples for glowing health?
Love.
Diligence. Like flossing every night no matter what, and starting the morning off with a glass of water with a little salt or lemon in it. Staying consistent in doing the things that I know are beneficial.
Remembering to give Thanks in everything.

Q: What is your next big vision for The Sweetness of Being?
I am in the process of a collaboration with Sun Potion, the company where I source my mucuna from. Working on a bar that will contain an array of healing and potent herbs.