In 2009, a 24-year-old AJ Wentworth decided he wanted to make and sell bean-to-bar chocolate based on two simple, high-quality ingredients—organic cacao beans and local unprocessed honey. A raw food chef and a holistic health counselor, he wanted to create a sweet treat that was luscious and outrageously delicious, but not overloaded with sugar.
AJ explains that, until two or three years ago, other chocolatiers didn’t take him seriously. Many seasoned chocolate makers he met had told him, “You can’t use raw cacao. You can’t peel beans by hand. You can’t make chocolate with honey.” Turns out they were wrong. AJ explains, “The Chocolate Conspiracy is one of the few companies in the United States that makes honey-sweetened chocolate. A lot of chocolate makers are blown away by the fact that I use honey because it is so difficult. There’s no equipment made for using honey—it’s a really sticky, moist, humid product and the water content in honey makes it difficult to combine with the fat in the chocolate.” AJ highlights three things that set his products apart: