Meet Jacquie and sample her chocolates at the store from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 13 and Saturday, Dec. 21.

CLAIM TO FAME: When Jacquie Mosher first arrived at Ranch Foods Direct with her Radiantly Raw chocolates, they created quite a stir among the sales staff. After all, these candies were ultra-healthy but didn’t have the bitter after-taste many of us associate with unsweetened chocolate. “I use raw local honey, and I don’t use emulsifiers, which often make chocolate chalky and dry,” Jacquie explains. “They make candy shelf-stable – that’s why mine have to be kept in the freezer – but I don’t believe in using them.” Instead, her elegantly packaged gems are made with only basic ingredients: coconut oil, honey, cacao powder and vanilla extract. “I’m the only person I’ve met that uses local honey rather than agave as a sweetener,” she notes. “Agave is controversial because it’s processed in the same way as corn syrup, and it’s very hypoglycemic. A lot of experts say your body doesn’t recognize it, and so it can be toxic. My chocolate is never melted down, roasted or heated above a certain temperature, and it’s a very pure form of chocolate, so it’s high in antioxidants, just like honey. Eating a piece is like taking a multi-vitamin.”

THE BACKSTORY: Jacquie lives by the mantra, “let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food.” About five years ago, while working as an event planner on the East Coast, she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and told she would have to be on medication for the rest of her life. “At 22, that seemed absurd,” she says. That’s when she began to notice the correlation between what she ate and how she felt. “I experimented with different diets, and once I increased my consumption of raw foods that weren’t processed I was able to completely heal myself,” she says. “In this country, people don’t put much thought into the food they put in their bodies, but they should.”

While she’s on a mission to inform and educate that goes well beyond chocolate, she still considers chocolate an ideal way to introduce more people to raw foods. “Raw chocolate is one of my favorite raw foods because it is so nutrient dense,” she says. “I think it’s one of the most powerful foods you can have in your diet.”
Her culinary talents extend to other raw dessert items including a fabulous unbaked carrot cake (“you would never know it hasn’t been cooked”) and raw pies with crusts made of nuts, dates and a little buckwheat and filled with dairy-free custards. (Custom orders are accepted at the store or on her Facebook page. Expect prices between $25-30.) She’ll also be selling special 6- and 12-pack gift candy assortments for the holidays. (Single-size servings of her chocolates run around $5 and a little goes a long way; they’re rich and satisfying.)

WHY RANCH FOODS DIRECT: “We are great partners in that we both care about high quality food” she says. “I’m a meat lover. I don’t feel good if I don’t have it. A reasonable goal is to try to eat 80% raw foods. And I don’t think anybody should ever eat something they regret putting in their body.” In other words: enjoy both meat and chocolate often, but never skimp on quality.