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Kerry Lucier Jr., owner of Aruna Chocolates, Hartford, Conn.

| 02.18.2013 |

Does the world need another chocolate company? What a silly question – of course it does! Especially if the company is Hartford, Conn.-based Aruna Chocolates!


Chocolate addicts will appreciate this company's very different approach to its product creation. Aruna Chocolates' products are handcrafted and made with high-quality raw, organic and fair trade ingredients – you won’t find refined sugars, preservatives, additives, soy, dairy and gluten in their mix. These vegan-friendly products also use very low glycemic sweeteners such as Lucuma, 100% Agave or Honey, thus enabling diabetics to share the food fun.


Business-Superstar spoke with Kerry Lucier Jr., the company’s founder and owner, on this unique endeavor.


Q: What was the inspiration for Aruna Chocolates? And was this the first time you created your own company?


Kerry Lucier Jr.: When it comes to Aruna Chocolates, I feel the inspiration not only comes from my connection and love for chocolate, but also my connection and love for my daughter, Aruna. It's been my experience that children have this amazing ability to unwire the things that have been hardwired within us – to surrender and embrace the life we've created, to not only be gentle with each other but to ourselves. Along with integrity, I have integrated these priceless lessons and used my business as a path of awakening.


This is the first time I have been inspired to create a business on my own. I did have a business in Vermont that I opened with help from a friend who guided me through the entire process and also funded the entire thing.


Q: How long did it take to create Aruna Chocolates?


Kerry Lucier Jr.: It really didn't take that long for us to create the LLC. We still needed a name for the business, and one day while I was making a batch of chocolate with Aruna, when she was about a year and a half old, I asked her kindly to stir the chocolate so daddy could grab an ingredient. When I turned around she was whispering into the bowl, "I love you, I love you...." SHABAM! And there we have it folks, Aruna Chocolates LLC was created the very next day. Although everything happens in divine timing, it took about a year to launch.


Q: What have been some of the challenges in starting and maintaining Aruna Chocolates? And conversely, what have been some of the high points of this endeavor?


Kerry Lucier Jr.: One of the toughest part that still continues to challenge us is finding a certified kitchen space to make our chocolate out of that is in alignment with what we do. We're making raw chocolate, which is a very sacred process to us, so making it out of fast pace environment is not an ideal place. I have also created some personal situations in my life that financially have kept my business from flourishing as I know it will.


I feel that making raw chocolate is a service that I am here to provide and I know that I have everything and everyone that I need in my life in order to make it happen. Realizing that I have met so many incredible people that are out there bringing so much goodness to this planet inspires me further to help others who are starting their own personal endeavors. This undoubtedly is the high point for me.


Q: How have you been able to promote and distribute your product line? And what kind of a feedback have you received, to date?


Kerry Lucier Jr.: Well, we have a website that is in the works and should be done sometime soon. Currently we are using our blog as a temporary site where people can get information about what it is we do, the events we are a part of and how to purchase some of this yumminess.


People do however stress the importance of marketing and I do believe in some guerrilla-type marketing, but for us we simply use our blog and Facebook page currently. Aside from that, it's all word of mouth – or should we say, chocolate to mouth?


The feedback to date that we have received has been not only incredible, but also very honest. Some of our chocoholics friends who are super familiar with the raw food world share there opinions and say how our product has shifted there wellness in a very strong powerful way. I love seeing people try our chocolate for the first time. Their entire disposition changes along with what they did or did not expect simply ends with all in a smile.


Q: What professional advice would you give to someone who is interested in following your example and launching their own food-related business?


Kerry Lucier Jr.: I pretty much believe that if you have fun at your job, you will never work another day in your life – so keep it fun! Be sure to use all your resources in order to be efficient before you even start up the business. Homework was key for me and I still pick the brains of all those around me.


Also never make money an obstacle. Trust that whatever you need, it will be there for you always.


Aruna Chocolates is online at http://arunachocolates.com/. You can also visit the company on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ArunaChocolates.