Dining out with me it’s understood that dessert is mandatory – at times the meal planned around leaving room for that. As soon as I see crème brulee on the menu it’s as if everything else ceases to exist. So, it didn’t surprise me to learn that 63 percent of consumers eat desserts at least once a week, with 58 percent of these purchased on impulse.
Anticipating my own increase in consumption as we approach this holiday season, I wanted to take moment to introduce some delicious foodie startups making our meals just a little bit sweeter. From craft chocolates, to fruit-filled gelato, to your very own dessert kit delivery services, prepare yourselves for a decadent read.
Undone Chocolate is the sweet result of scientific curiosity. As a scientist working on his PhD in plant biochemistry, Adam Kavalier stumbled upon cacao as a potent source of medicinal compounds. He began making chocolate at home, and soon the activity became a source of creativity and passion. The company supports small producers at origin by using directly sourced cacao, grown organically and in sustainable agroforestry systems. They pay a 20 percent premium for all of their cocoa beans (more than 3x the premium of fair trade) to support local economies and sustainable agriculture. Undone Chocolates can be found in over 50 retailers including Union Kitchen Grocery, Mom’s Organic Market, Logan Hardware, Each Peach Market and more.
Guido Molinari and Reed Cataldo run Divino – handcrafted, gelato-filled fruits. Guido is from the gelato capital of the world – Bologna, Italy. He grew up enjoying similar products served at many festive occasions with family and friends. This unique dessert means not having to forsake taste for health – even the fruit peels are edible! The company produces everything in the Amalfi Coast of Italy, and sell in 1,200 retailers across 45 states including Whole Foods, Fairway, Sprouts, and Albertson’s.
Agathe Assouline-Lichten & Arielle Assouline-Lichten recently launched Red Velvet NYC. This unique entrant to the meal kit delivery services provides all the pre-measured ingredients and a recipe card so bakers can create homemade desserts. For some consumers, baking can often be a daunting and cumbersome task, but Red Velvet NYC makes it easy, convenient, and fun to bake at home. The service is 100% a-la-carte (no subscription required) and they currently offer over 20 different kits. Dessert kits serve an average of 8-10 guests (cupcake kits make 24 cupcakes), and are ideal for any occasion – a birthday party, dinner party, or everyday sweet tooth!
A. Thu Hoang is a chocolatier, raw chef, food enthusiast, and owner of Joy Bliss Raw – an organic raw chocolate & dessert company. Years ago she was looking for “healthy” alternatives. Desserts were the hardest to find – especially for people with gluten or dairy intolerances. Not only does she prepare these delicious chocolates for sale at Takoma Park Food Co-op, The Local Market-Falls Church, and Studio BE Pilates in Fairfax, but the company also hosts personal chef services to show others how to make them at home! They believe in food being nourishing to the body and soul – raw food serving as nutrients and energy for the body.
Let the guilt melt away this holiday, and have that dessert!