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Virginia Harold Photography

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Honeymoon Chocolates

Making An Impact, One Chocolate Bar At A Time

Cam and Haley Loyet started their business, Honeymoon Chocolates, in a dorm room during 2016 while attending Illinois Wesleyan University. They used the shared kitchen of Cam’s four-person dorm suite to make their chocolates and stored the chocolate-making equipment and ingredients in a 5-by-8-foot closet.

"We had our first, full 50-kilogram bag of cacao shipped to that dorm, and I hauled it up three flights of stairs and stored it inside of that tiny closet,” says Cam.

But what started as a hobby has grown from its humble beginning, now selling products in nearly 100 retail stores nationwide and recently opening a new factory and 5,000-square-foot retail store in Clayton at 16 N. Central Ave.

The Clayton facility provides customers with an immersive experience, featuring a glassed-in kitchen that allows visitors to catch a glimpse of Honeymoon’s chocolate-making process.

Cam says part of the strategy behind the new Clayton facility was to deepen Honeymoon’s connection with St. Louis. “We were in close to 100 stores, but we just weren’t well-known in our hometown," he says.

Honeymoon Chocolate’s goal always has been to make a healthier version of chocolate. The company, which won a 2021 Arch Grant, manufactures and sells “bean to bar” chocolate that includes no refined sugar, and is sweetened using only locally sourced raw honey.

“However, our first and foremost reason for making chocolate is to address the decreasing supply of cacao and the decline of honeybees worldwide,” he shares.

The Loyets and their craft chocolate company have a passion for making an impact on Third-World cacao farmers. “We feel we’re having a real impact on the small farmers we source from in Belize, Haiti and Uganda, mainly,” says Cam.

“We quickly came to realize there were supply chain problems with the cacao beans because of the lack of skilled workers, and because of the extremely low wages they were being paid, they were finding other work options. We feel we’re making a significant impact on their livelihoods. For example, in 2021 our average price paid was $2.47 per kilogram. That’s ten times the fair-trade price floor paid to farmers.”

Buyers of Honeymoon Chocolates can feel good in knowing that, for example, 60 cents of every raspberry and dark chocolate Belize Bar they buy goes directly to the farmer.

In addition, the Loyets purchase directly from local beekeepers and give a portion of their proceeds to support honeybee research, apiarists and conservation of bees, which are critical to food and ecosystems.

“Secondly, but just as important, is to allow our consumers to remove refined sugar from their favorite foods. A few positives in using honey compared to traditional cane sugar include a roughly 1.5 time multiple in sweetness (which decreases overall caloric content by 20 calories for a 2.5-ounce bar), a lower glycemic index, and trace amounts of beneficial enzymes, amino acids, antioxidants, B vitamins, and minerals," he says.

The future for Honeymoon Chocolates includes increasing its product line, with plans to roll out miniature-size bars. They sayd they also hope to expand into retailers, such as Target and Whole Foods.

  • Virginia Harold Photography
  • Virginia Harold Photography
  • Virginia Harold Photography
  • Virginia Harold Photography
  • Virginia Harold Photography
  • Cam and Haley Loyet, owners