Meet the maker: ZenBunni Biodynamic Chocolate
Handcrafted in Venice, California using an exotic array of certified organic and wild foraged heirloom spices, herbs, leaves, flowers, nuts, oils, salts and minerals, ZenBunni products have been created to soothe, inspire, amaze, delight, heal and nurture our bodies and souls. This week we caught up with the inspiring founders to learn a little more about our new favourite biodynamic chocolate...
How did ZenBunni come to be?
ZenBunni is a Mama, Papa, baby company. Zen being the Papa, Bunni being the Mama, and our daughter Alchemy being the baby. We've been together for 16 years and created the brand ZenBunni 10 years ago. We opened up a small art gallery under our names and filled the space with our art and other things we made. Bunni is a fine art (non-digital) photographer and printer and Zen creates assemblage pieces. Together we made jewelry, clothing, furniture, and other things as eco-interior designers. One day our world changed when Zen heard a lecture led by Raw Food Longevity Speaker and Author David Wolfe. It was the first time Zen had heard about Organic Food to this degree, what superfoods were, what tonic Chinese and Ayurvedic herbs were, and the concepts of living consciously and being non-toxic. Everything made perfect sense, so we went raw, organic and vegan in one day. We got rid of all toxic foods, cleaners, soaps, shampoos and got clean! It was an unbelievable journey with profound results that were truly tangible. We could see better, smell better, and felt light and alive within 3 months. However, everything was easy to give up except Chocolate. We were craving our favourite thing to eat, and no one at that time created a delicious healthy chocolate, so Zen decided to learn how to make it himself on a homemade level just for them. But friends that tasted it urged us to sell it in our gallery, after awhile we gave in without any expectations. Now going into our 10th year we reflect back to when it was just for a simple indulgence and how it's grown into a mission to heal the earth, empowering farmers, and people to make conscious choices in all their actions. We've been blessed to spread this message through chocolate.
What makes ZenBunni chocolate biodynamic and why is this important?
The term "biodynamic" refers to a method/system of regenerative farming that goes beyond organic standards. It's actually the world's first sustainable method of farming that predates organic by half a century. Biodynamic farming is a "closed loop" system which means the entire farm is self sustainable and uses no external inputs. Everything is made on the farm, for the farm, and is treated as one living organism, with soil health being the lifeline of it's existence. What makes biodynamic farming even more amazing than any other type of regenerative method like permaculture, is that there is a deep profound spiritual aspect to its method that ties into astrophysics, astrology, astronomy and recognising and working with the natural rhythms of the earth. We feel like this method can heal the earth now that we scientifically know that regenerative farming methods help sequester carbon from the atmosphere and we desperately need to share this important life changing insight to as many people as possible!
What production methods are used to produce the bars?
We have our own chocolate factory in Los Angeles where we stone grind our microcosmic bars in small artisanal batches.
How does ZenBunni differ from other ‘organic’ chocolate on the market?
The key is that we don't use organic cacao or organic sugar, we use "biodynamic" Cacao and Biodynamic Jaggery (an ancient Ayurvedic method of creating a low glycemic healthy cane sugar) from South India. So the source and quality is beyond what is out there in the current chocolate world. We also work on sourcing as many herbs, flowers, oils, and spices biodynamically as well.
all of zenbunni's chocolate varieties contain potent healing properties - talk us through which varieties are best for certain ailments we may be facing in our every day
They all have potent healing properties as cacao is a superfood when it's not industrially processed and derived from very unethical sources (which is 90%) of all chocolate in the market. The energetic signature alone on most chocolate is one of sadness and greed, hence the guilt that's associated with this type of chocolate that we would call "candy". Our chocolates are simply a doorway to self care and the amazing world of healing plants and natural medicine. We sprinkle Ashwagandha and Tulsi on our Kathmandu Chai for it's restorative immune boosting properties, great for the beginning of a stressful day. Where as our Lavender Lemuria would be great at the end of a stressful day. Our Shiva Rose aids in uplifting one from a depressed state or it can ascend one as an aphrodisiac. Cacao is an excellent carrier for medicine with its high fat content, abundance of minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients that aid as cofactors to what's infused, for instance our Maui Sunrise with turmeric and ginger is great for treating inflammation and getting the digestion moving.
What are some of your favourite health giving ingredients to use within the wild crafting chocolate process?
There are so many, we are just getting started with all that mother nature provides. Our favourites at this moment are the medicinal mushrooms, our florals and we're excited to bring nourishing herbs into our line, the foundation of traditional herbalism like nettles, and burdock root.
We love how crystals are incorporated into the boxes of ZenBunni chocolate – tell us a bit about your purpose for including these and how you’ve selected the different types of crystals to accompany the chocolate varieties
We have always loved crystals and when we got into biodynamics, it made perfect sense as one of the preparations you use on a biodynamic farm entail spraying your fields with crushed quartz crystal infused water. We wanted to share this powerful healing tool and actually give them as gifts with each box of chocolate. We feel like we are stewards to the crystal kingdom and love pairing them with different chocolates that resonate with what we feel is the appropriate stone.
Also now that we started our online New and Full Moon newsletter "The Rabbit Report" and monthly Full Moon Chocolate Club. We share what crystals are in tune with each moon, connecting us deeper into the earth and connecting us to The Cosmos at the same time! A prolific place to exists in between these two realms on the surface of this magical planet.
Shop their biodynamic chocolate, coffee and organic incense here.
Photography by Yayo Ahumada (Jenni Kayne) and Unknown.