Honeymoon Chocolates: The New Chocolate Shop Clayton Residents Are Melting For – Ladue News

Six years ago, two Illinois Wesleyan University students started making chocolate in their dorm room kitchen for fun.
In January, Honeymoon Chocolates – that hobby-turned-business, co-founded in 2016 by Cam Loyet and his then-girlfriend and now-wife, Haley – opened a bricks-and-mortar location at 16 N. Central Ave. in Clayton. “We both have a passion towards food and the experience you can have with it,” Loyet says.
Melt-in-your-mouth Honeymoon Chocolates – destined to take your taste buds on a honeymoon – provides a decidedly different bean-to-bar craft chocolate experience, in that its treats are sweetened solely with raw honey from apiarist Jeff Weaver of Bourbon, Missouri. “It’s incredible-tasting honey that works well with our cacao,” Loyet notes. “It’s all wildflower and clover honey.”
Loyet, who earned a bachelor’s degree in business from IWU in 2018 and a master’s degree in business administration from Washington University in St. Louis last year, says he and Haley, who completed a bachelor’s degree in biology at IWU in 2018 and a doctorate of medicine at Saint Louis University School of Medicine in 2021, chose the chocolate-making business to address the decreasing supply of cacao, as well as the decline of honeybees worldwide. The sustainably minded company’s cacao beans are sourced at or above fair-trade value from countries including Haiti, Peru and Belize, and its products are packaged in compostable wrapping.
“We also purchase directly from beekeepers, which allows us to support apiarists,” Loyet explains, adding that a portion of Honeymoon Chocolates’ proceeds is annually donated in support of honeybee research via the San Francisco-based Pollinator Partnership to expand individual knowledge and the ability to help honeybees and preserve pollinators.
Equally important, Loyet says, is Honeymoon Chocolates’ mission to provide consumers with a healthier alternative to products filled with refined sugars. “When I was growing up, my parents only allowed us to have foods that were diet and caffeine-free, so when Haley started cooking for me in college, I realized other aspects of the culinary world,” Loyet explains.
Honey is about 1½ times sweeter than cane sugar, a traditional chocolate sweetener, Loyet notes. Additionally, he says, honey decreases the overall caloric content by 20 calories for a 2.2-ounce bar, has a lower glycemic index and offers trace amounts of beneficial enzymes, amino acids, antioxidants, B vitamins and such minerals as calcium, magnesium and potassium.
Among Honeymoon Chocolates products, which typically cost $10 for a 2.2-ounce bar, is a dark raspberry bar (“with a raspberry zing”) and a dark coffee bar (“with lots of caffeine”).
The fan-favorite former, the dark raspberry bar, blends 70 percent Marañón, Peruvian cacao with pure raspberries and raw honey. The treat, which is also Loyet’s go-to healthy indulgence, is free of refined sugar, soy, dairy and gluten.
The dark coffee bar, sweetened with honey like all of Honeymoon Chocolates’ treats, features Haitian cacao and local Kaldi’s Coffee’s Brew for Impact from Haitian farmers.
Although most of the company’s delectable offerings are dark chocolate, Loyet says to look for white chocolate and milk chocolate assortments hitting shelves this spring.
Additionally, chocolate tea ($13) – freshly roasted and ground cacao nibs – and drinking chocolate ($12) – a thicker version of hot cocoa – are available at the local chocolate factory, which has now grown to a staff of six.
From first making chocolate at IWU – where the couple won a $5,000 fellowship that helped them research the possibility of their hobby becoming a business – to successfully pitching the idea in one of Loyet’s MBA classes at Wash U, to opening the Loyets’ chocolate factory this year, Honeymoon Chocolates has come a long way – and is now even available around the world, including in Australia, Japan and Switzerland.
Locally, Honeymoon Chocolates can be found at Schnucks, Wild Olive Provisions, Local Harvest Grocery, Fresh Thyme Market at City Foundry STL, The Annex Coffee and Foods, Winslow’s Table, SqWires, Parker’s Table, Seedz Café, Pipers Tea and Coffee, Union Studio and Angad Arts Hotel.
Honeymoon Chocolates, 16 N. Central Ave., Clayton, 314-200-5608, hmchocolates.com
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