Just Say Yes!
Happy Valentines Day Everyone! I want to say that this day can be anything you want it to be! Share your love with yourself, with the planet, with friends, with family, or even with strangers (in a safe way, of course). Let this year mark a Valentines Day where you will celebrate L-O-V-E -- NO MATTER WHAT THAT LOOKS LIKE TO YOU!
I want to share one of the first chocolate artisans that I met on the path, Justin Polgar of Yes Cacao. Justin’s chocolate is infused with so many beautiful superfoods and herbs, and is marked all over by the word …YES! I have been working with that word a lot recently, to just say YES to my dreams & wishes. It’s made such a difference in my spirit and approach to life. Just say Yes to the situation and say Yes to Love. That is where the magic really happens. For YES cacao, Justin’s wish is that every time you take a bite, you do the same.
Here is to your immense love & and each of your deepest wishes coming true!
I love you all, so very much.
Happy Valentines Day,
Q&A with Justin Polgar of YES Cacao
Q: What is YES CACAO and how did you start it?
A: Yes CaCao makes Botanical Chocolate Bars! We’re exploring what’s possible with chocolate as a delivery system. More and more people are learning that Cacao is a vasodilator, which means it expands your blood vessels, in other words it puts your body in an open state to receive. Instead of putting refined sugar, preservatives and other junk in chocolate, we think it’s a better idea to use this delivery system for herbs, teas, flowers, mushrooms, and superfoods. This is chocolate technolgy. Let’s make it easy for people to be healthy; let’s make wellness as accessible as a chocolate bar.
Mantra has always been a powerful instigator in my life, and I feel the most important words of the day being the first ones you say. So one day I started to wake up saying, “I only do what I love.” This mantra began to weave together all my passions into a single endeavor, now called Yes CaCao. I first started making custom formulated chocolates for individual clients, with a 20-day supply and instructions for how to consume. The chocolate might come with an astrological perspective, or a soundtrack, or an exercise. I would encourage the ritual “Make a Wish & Take a Bite,” and people started having a lot of fun with it. Fun is key when we’re changing patterns or letting go of habits. As I observed people over time, certain patterns started to surface, and from that I created three distinct chocolate bars that each have an intentional function.
Q: Why did you choose the ingredients you did?
A: Part of the ethos at Yes CaCao is our reverence for plant medicine intelligence. From the wild harvested cacao, to the sun-dried cane juice crystals, and every botanical in these bars, each are chosen for their prolific nutrition profiles. Take a breath and think about how many time-tested alchemical remedies and botanical formulas have been created throughout history…. Woah that’s a lot of plant medicine! The pharmacopoeias of the world hold wisdom for how to maintain a healthy holistic human being, we just have to learn and listen. The ingredients in these bars are choosing us as much as we are choosing them.
These bars are created for the benefit of your whole body, not just the two inches of your tongue. The “flavor journey” unfolds nuanced sensations on your taste buds, that then echo into your body. We don’t shy away from bold flavors, we embrace them to find compliments.
Q: Why are they named YES BARS?
A: Maybe because saying YES tastes really good? Maybe its cause the bar itself say YES all over it? I don’t know, this is the first i’ve heard that- I just call it food. Maybe it’s ‘cause Yes Cacao is made by Yes-ologists… we study what happens when we say the word YES. And to be clear, it’s not a blind blanket of yes-to-everything. That would negate the importance of choice. If you aren’t free to say NO, you’re not really owning your YES.
These “YES BARS” are vehicles to calibrate your energy throughout the day, and a reminder of your highest serving wishes. Our wishes are what we want most in life. When we hold that wish in the forefront of our consciousness, and have a pleasurable experience in our mouths, we train our minds to associate pleasure with our wishes. It’s kind of a cross between Pavlov’s Dog and the Law of Attraction. When we get to stack the realities of ritual, and the high organic vibrations of wild cacao with top-shelf botanicals, our funnel of YES becomes more palpable. Feel the YES- Make a Wish & Take a Bite.
Q: Could you describe your process of making and sourcing the chocolate?
A: YES, and I could go on about this for days because I’m really passionate about Wild Cacao. This means no farms, no plantation, just the wisdom of the wild where nature is the farmer. We get all of our cacao from a organized team of 450 wild-harvesters, working throughout Ecuador. These guys work really hard, and we make sure they are well compensated. The system naturally creates a True Fair Trade relationship.
Once the cacao is harvested, and the beans are plucked from the pod, it makes it’s way (sometimes by donkey) to a processing facility just outside of Guayaquil for fermentation, sun drying, and the creation of nibs and liqueur (also called cacao paste). When the cacao arrives in the US, we stone-grind it with the botanicals for a minimum of 50 hours to ensure a smooth mouth-feel. Next we temper the chocolate, pour it into BPA free moulds, wrap, seal, and cut each bar by hand. Since the beginning, our production mantra has been, “It gets better with every batch.”
We have a lot of passion for transparency in food supply chains, and we get to witness this in action, making sure that everyone who touches Yes CaCao, from the wild harvesters all the way through to you, are experiencing a better quality of life. As a producer of a consumable product, we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Q: What does chocolate mean to you?
A: I love chocolate- it fuels my YES! The scientific name for chocolate is Theobroma Cacao, which means “Food of The Gods”, what else needs to be said?
Consuming chocolate is an embodied experience that connects me with the Divine. For thousands of years cacao was used in ritual as a ceremonial tool and sacred food. According to indigenous creation stories and the overlap of secondary chemical compounds found both in cacao and in outer space, chocolate was quite possibly brought here by extraterrestrials. Yes, I just said chocolate is from outer space. That puts a whole new spin on chocolate as a delivery system.
Q: How often do you like to consume chocolate and do you like to pair it with anything?
A: I’m eating chocolate right now, I eat it everyday, I average about 3 pounds a week. I’d say 99% of that is Yes CaCao, plus it’s my job to sample every new chocolate bar I come across. I have a whole cupboard of partially eaten bars from chocolate companies around the world, and when I eat them, I’m tapping into the people who make the bars, who source the beans, even the nimble fingers that hand wrap the bars. If I go slow enough, I can feel all that.
My favorite things to pair with Yes CaCao are wishes:)
And I start most mornings pairing Yes CaCao with tea. Usually an aged shou puerh, or a round oolong. Both tea and chocolate are vehicles for connection and opportunities for ritual.
Q: What is your greatest vision for Yes cacao?
A: Yes CaCao is aiming to repurpose chocolate, explore what’s possible, and utilize the full spectrum of its gifts! Chocolate is a food, not to be confined specifically to the dessert or candy category. Our greatest vision is to have chocolate be recognized as a bridge for people to find their YES.
Q: What do you think makes for a SUPER LIFE?
A: Doing what we LOVE, praising the amazing mystery, and Chocolate. #YESLIFE