Pure cacao has exploded onto the scene in recent years, and Ireland’s newest offering Nibbed is set to take off.
Created by aunt-niece duo Lisa Kleiner and Anna O’Sullivan, Nibbed is born of the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic, when Lisa, a qualified chef with a degree in Nutrition and an MSc in Exercise Nutrition, spent much of the first lockdown in a cacao making expedition. Once she came across cacao, she knew she had struck gold and was joined by health-nut niece Anna with who, with her background in design and wellness marketing, made the perfect partner.
The more they discovered about this magical bean the more they learned about its amazing health benefits. This coupled with its insanely good taste inspired them to take a leap to become one of the few Irish Bean to Bar producers with an emphasis on Small Batch Cacao Products. Hand crafted in Co. Wicklow, Nibbed has a simple mission: to produce the highest quality, organic, natural products that are exquisitely delicious and ethically sourced. The range includes a 300g Cacao Block, two teas and several delicious treats.
The organic cacao beans used to make Nibbed products come from small farms that are fairly traded and sustainable, while all the packaging is compostable or recyclable. All ingredients for all products are organic, while Nibbed activates the nuts and seeds themselves and makes their own organic orange powder.
Cacao has many health benefits such as energising, mood-enhancing and heart-opening and is popularly used as a morning alternative to coffee and in cacao ceremonies. Naturally rich in theobromine, cacao brings blood to the brain, and it is a natural stimulant that perks up the whole system without the jittery effects of caffeine.
We chatted to the Wicklow duo to find out more!
What is Nibbed Cacao’s mission statement?
We have a simple mission: to produce the highest quality, organic, natural cacao products that are exquisitely delicious and ethically sourced.
We are a Cacao company with complete transparency using only organic, natural ingredients with minimal processing, that pack a punch with depths of natural flavour.
What’s your favourite product of yours?
Lisa: My favourite is the Cacao Coconut Tea, I must drink litres of it a day! I love the mild refreshing taste, it really grows on you!
Anna: Has to be the straight-up, pure 100% cacao block. I don’t drink coffee, so this is my daily morning energiser. I melt 25g in hot water over the hob, and blend it with coconut oil and cardamom in the nutribullet. It’s so creamy and frothy!
What are some of your favourite brands in your industry?
Dandelion chocolate in San Francisco and Raaka Chocolate in New York are companies we admire, and would have taken a lot of inspiration from their brands. In Ireland, it would have to be Nobo and The Proper Chocolate Company and in the UK Willies Cacao and Om Bar are inspiring to us.
What has running your own business taught you?
Resilience! Always smile in the face of adversity! Many hurdles have been overcome to get where we are today and no doubt many more will come. Ultimately self belief and love of the products pushes us on.
In a small, start-up business we are only two people and have to wear many hats – be that production, packing, design, marketing, sales etc. You need to be adaptable and have the willingness to learn and ask others for help and guidance.
And lastly, remove the words “I can’t” from our vocabulary and replace them with “How can I?”
What do you think is the next big thing in the world of health and wellness?
Cacao!!!! We really believe we are only at the start of this cacao journey. People are only starting to learn about these little beans’ amazing health benefits and the variety of foods we can make with them. It’s not just your standard bar of sugar- and dairy-laden chocolate anymore. Cacao is so much more than that!
Who is your biggest health and wellness inspiration?
Lisa: Marilyn Glenville and James Wong, I discovered both of these during my early studies in Nutritional Therapy!
Anna: I love Roz Purcell, Indie Power and Susan Jane White when it comes to healthy recipe inspiration. Their cookbooks in my kitchen are covered with sticky thumbprints! For yoga, I am obsessed with Creature Yoga (Tahl & Bess) in Byron Bay. I used to practice there in person when I lived in Australia, but am now delighted I can do my daily practice with them online.
Nibbed is available to order now online at nibbedcacao.com and to buy in select stores around Ireland.