FOR THE LOVE OF CHOCOLATE

Handmade botanical chocolates bridge love, indulgence, and health

Katlin Doyle is the creator and founder of Nurturing Essence, a botanical chocolate business based in Charlottetown, PEI. Handcrafted with love, Doyle only uses fair trade, organic, raw cacao. Her chocolate is free of dairy, gluten, and refined sugar, and she uses as many local ingredients as possible.

“I find if people are indulging in something, they are being really hard on themselves for it. But with Nurturing Essence, I want to provide food and medicine that’s going to make people feel better than they did before,” she said. Her mission is to allow people to truly experience pleasure, in the form of food, and in the form of feeling love for themselves, and for life.

Doyle sells her chocolate at the Charlottetown Farmers’ Market on Saturdays, and it can also be found at Riverview Country Market. “It’s rare that a customer comes to my booth and they’re not smiling,” Doyle said. “Just to know that I have touched someone in that way, makes me really happy.”

Making chocolate is a bridge of art, food creation, and science, Doyle said. “It’s so meticulous.”

“I love it because it’s an expression of beauty, and an artistic expression and I love that it really, truly makes people happy.”

Katlin Doyle is the creator of Nurturing Essence //Photo Credit: Brenlee Brothers

The reason chocolate makes us feel so good is because of the chemicals that are present within it, Doyle said. Chocolate makes us feel good and connected to ourselves, because it is so high in PEAs (phenethylamine), the chemical that is released in our body when we fall in love, Doyle said.

Any time we are feeling love, whether it is for ourselves, or for someone else, that is the chemical our brain is releasing into our body, she said. “And cacao is giving us extra of that.”

Cacao also contains anandamide, the chemical responsible for creating feelings of joy, bliss, and delight. These natural chemicals are very heat sensitive, so are less likely to be present in roasted and dutch-processed cocoa, unlike cacao in its unroasted, unadulterated form.

As well, cacao has a high source of antioxidants, and according to Doyle, it’s incredible for cardiovascular health. It’s truly medicine of the heart, she said.

“Regardless of if you are celebrating Valentine’s Day with a loved one, or if you don’t have a partner…Cacao is here as a medicine for us to just enjoy our own love and our own presence.”