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Community Highlights: Meet Kristen Blue of Sonhab

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kristen Blue.

Hi Kristen, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Sonhab was born out of a health crisis that turned my life upside down. An autoimmune disease was impacting my quality of life, negatively affecting my motor skills, brain health, coordination, vision, and digestion. I recovered and managed to avoid immunosuppressants by making diet modifications guided by a specialist. This changed my relationship with food and forced me to find new ways to appreciate it. I learned to enjoy the labor of making beautiful, healthy foods and began making adaptogenic chocolate for myself. I dove into educating myself on cacao, adaptogens, health benefits and then later fell in love with the labor-intensive process of making bean to bar chocolate. I began bringing my chocolates to my meditation classes and serving them at soundbaths. Sonhab came to fruition.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
My partner in life and business, Cody had his workplace closed permanently due to the pandemic. This was a challenging time, but it allowed him to step up and take on an operational and production role, which helped us grow our business. He became a skillful roaster and developed many of our roast profiles. With his help, we were able to grow Sonhab much more than expected. We also ran into supply chain issues in the beginning of the pandemic. At one point, we had to deliver $200 of chocolates in plastic containers instead of our normal craft boxes. Our customers were understanding and supportive, for which we are forever grateful.

On top of that issue, as a meditation teacher, I could no longer host sound bath classes, and all events I had scheduled were cancelled. I took this opportunity to learn how to record and began offering free meditations on platforms like Insight Timer App and Youtube. As a small business owner, the challenges and work never end, but Cody and I enjoy every step of the journey. We are so grateful for the supportive community, business mentors, and collaborators that help us along the path.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
Sonhab makes ethically sourced bean to bar chocolate with adaptogenic herbs and inclusions. We are small makers and all chocolate is made by hand. It takes us a week to turn raw cacao beans into a chocolate bar. At Sonhab, we trace every origin of cacao beans back to the farm. Sourcing ethical cacao is important to us. In result, we pay higher prices for the cacao we use. Understanding how and where the cacao is grown is important for ethical reasons, but also to appreciate the terroir of the cacao, similar to wine. Each cacao bean origin tastes very different.

We sometimes add mushrooms, herbs, and roots that I use in my own day-to-day life to maintain my health focused on reducing inflammation, increasing energy, and keeping stress levels low. Herbs, roots, and cacao have a long history of being used to adapt to stress and for medicinal purposes – although we do not make any medical healing claims. We only claim to have delicious chocolate! We don’t use refined sugar, cheap fillers, or stabilizers in our chocolate. I am also a certified sound meditation teacher.

Can you talk to us a bit about the role of luck?
Life hands us opportunities as a result of good and of bad circumstances. It does this for us to learn from so we can better align ourselves with our goals. When I look back on lucky opportunities, I feel gratitude. Those divinely aligned moments make all the hard work and late nights involved in running a small business worthwhile.

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Image Credits

Kristen Blue and Jocelyn Pacheco

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