Like many people, Bubs Buselli loves chocolate.
“I love cacao ... it really does bring me joy,” she said. “I love the way it makes me feel; I’ve always been attracted to chocolate. When I realized that I wanted to keep eating it, I thought I should start making it myself and make it the way I want and use high quality ingredients.”
Cacao, however, is often grown through unethical practices, she said, noting that child slavery exists within the chocolate industry, particularly along Africa’s Ivory Coast.
“When I started learning about the hardship of the chocolate industry, I knew that I wanted to make a better product,” Buselli said. “My mission is to re-establish the joy that exists within chocolate. ... If we are feeding people chocolate that comes from slavery, it’s not actually joyful.”
To accomplish this, she created Heart Song Chocolate.
Buselli started making chocolate three years ago, but started her business last February.
“When I was in Guatemala over last winter, I met someone who taught me how to properly temper chocolate,” she said. “Before I even got back to the States, I had ordered myself a melanger, which is a stone grinder, and all this equipment, and came back and my partner let me convert his guest bedroom into a chocolate lab.”
The cacao Buselli uses is grown on polyculture farms in Guatemala, and Heart Song’s chocolate bars are sweetened with maple or coconut sugar. She also sells truffles and jools – medijool dates stuffed with truffle filling and rolled in rose from her garden and hemp or sesame.
Buselli said cacao is full of neurotransmitters that bring joy.
“Cacao is designed molecularly to open your heart, and that’s what I want to do: feed people chocolate to open their hearts,” she said. “It’s my offering to the world of nourishment, love and joy.”
She plans to move Heart Sng into warehouse space in the near future and start producing chocolate commercially outside her cottage food license, which will allow her to distribute it beyond the farmers market.