With Halloween right around the corner many parents worry that they will have to face their biggest fears – candy and its three notorious ingredients; high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweetener and artificial colors. Fortunately, there are now artificial free candy options that trick-or-treaters can collect. Justin’s and Little Secrets, both rooted right here in Boulder, are changing up the candy industry and showing how tasty sweets can be made the all-natural way.
Have you ever had those times in life where you just have to just do it yourself? For Justin Gold, that kind of mentality is what inspired his delicious, organic candy line known simply as… Justin’s.
“I was in such distress that I couldn’t find any great tasting organic peanut butter cups where I shop, so five years ago I started making my own,” says Justin. “My goal was to deliver on the traditional peanut butter cup experience but to use only the best ingredients that are conflict free and 100 percent organic.”
He put that plan into action in 2004, and he actually ended up pioneering an all-natural candy movement.
“Five years ago there weren’t any ‘better for you’ candy options, and our peanut butter cup was one of the first to fill the gap of traditional experience for more health conscience consumers,” says Justin.
Originally, the now-famous operation started with Justin making nut butter in his modest kitchen. After friends started getting sticky fingers from tasting his new creation, he decided to start expanding Justin’s to the local farmers market, then to the local natural grocers and eventually (and quickly) his business became a national brand with loyal followers.
“When I started, my goal was to become a national brand and I wrote it into my business plan, but it blows my mind that it’s becoming a reality. Every time I see our products on a store shelf or in someone’s cabinet I pinch myself,” says Justin.
“Five years ago there weren’t any ‘better for your’ candy options, and our peanut butter cup was one of the first to fill the gap of traditional experience for more health conscience consumers,” says Justin.
It’s not surprising that most of us love candy, chocolate and – well – candy-coated chocolate. Constantly you have to fight that urge to snag the M&Ms that haunt the grocery store checkout. Well forget about the M&Ms and get acquainted with Little Secrets, artificial free and imagined right here in Boulder.
“I decided to take one of America’s favorite forms and put in the most delicious Fair Trade chocolate I could find, and take out all of the gross artificial colors and flavors,” says founder Chris Mears.
Little Secrets uses fruit and vegetable extracts to create all of the bright, fun and beautiful colors. So they’re healthier right!?
“We don’t encourage you to replace your kale salad with Little Secrets,” says Chris.
Not the answer I was hoping for but you can at least feel better about indulging on these all-natural treats, and maybe sharing some with your kids.
“Growing up, M&Ms were my favorite but as I learned more about natural foods and the abundance of chemicals in processed food, I realized I not only didn’t want to put chemicals and artificial flavors into my body, but I also didn’t want to give them to my friends and family,” says Chris.
The solution to this problem – Little Secrets. The next problem is whether or not you’ll want to share.