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Welcome to our Honey Mama’s review!
The majority of foods that are described as “blissfully indulgent” generally wouldn’t also be nutritious and nourishing—but the paleo-friendly cocoa truffle bars from Honey Mama’s challenge that notion.
With a wide array of uniquely flavored fudge-like bars ranging from carrot cake to tahini tangerine to lavender rose, Honey Mama’s encourages indulging in delicious cocoa treats without making any compromises when it comes to health.
After speaking with founder Christy Goldsby and Vice President of Marketing Angela Lukic, we learned about how Honey Mama’s has grown from a small company selling at farmer’s markets in Portland in 2013 to now, where you can find their bars at over 6,000 grocery stores nationwide.
For their dedication to sourcing from local and organic suppliers, commitment to personal and public health, and insanely delicious chocolate-esque products that are surprisingly not that pricey, we awarded Honey Mama’s with an overall A grade—here’s how they did it.
Described at Expo East 2022 as a “spa day in your mouth,” the Lavender Rose bar’s edible rose petals and floral flavor notes make for a beautiful and delicious experience.
Organic Raw Honey, Organic Coconut, Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil, Organic Alkalized Cocoa Powder, Himalayan Pink Salt, Lavender Oil, Red Rose Petals
In 2010, Christy Goldsby ran a coffee shop in Portland that sold gourmet baked goods—but she didn’t know why the tasty treats were making her feel awful.
Around the same time, one of Christy’s close friends was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and went on a raw food elimination diet and Christy joined along for solidarity’s sake.
After feeling so much better without consuming sugar-rich and grain-filled foods, a light bulb went off and Christy felt inspired to create a product based on gluten-free, whole-food nutrients.
With an initial foray into the fermented vegetable space, she took a left turn and started creating the Honey Mama’s cocoa-based bars we know today (and we’re so glad she made the switch).
Using the popular Portland Farmers Market as a launching pad, Christy learned that there was nothing quite like her bars on the scene, and people not only loved them but also felt good eating them, knowing that they contained nourishing and functional ingredients.
From the farmers’ markets, she got into mom-and-pop shops and local natural food stores (including that small one you may have heard of—Whole Foods), which proved so successful that they were able to build a 12,000-square-foot manufacturing space in 2017, where they still are today.
After eight years of hard work in the farmers’ markets and regional stores, Honey Mama’s has just completed their first year working with Whole Foods Global, where they are the #2 branded offering.
Now, you can find their delicious bars in over 6,000 grocery stores—just look in the refrigerated section for the bright labels resembling colorful rays of sunshine that perfectly exemplify the playful nature of Christy and her team.
These six categories combined for an overall A rating for Honey Mama’s, supported by high-quality, mostly organic, and local ingredients, nourishing and nutritious products, great value, and strong community involvement in fighting food scarcity.
Beginning with quality, let’s take a closer look at how we came to these grades.
With delicious products free from refined sugar, gluten, soy, and dairy; bright, fun, and paper-based packaging; and sourcing that prioritizes local and organic ingredients, Honey Mama’s earns an A+ in quality.
The quality of ingredients used in Honey Mama’s cocoa truffle bars could not be better, proving the point that eating healthy does not have to taste bad.
Although some may argue that cocoa truffle bars are not a health food—granted, that may be true when compared to a veggie-loaded salad—they are definitely the most nutritious treat you’ll find.
When taking a look at the label on a Honey Mama’s bar, you’ll find just a handful of simple, nourishing ingredients, such as:
In addition to being paleo and free from refined sugar, gluten, grains, dairy, and soy, each serving of Honey Mama’s only contains 7g of sugar from honey, which is relatively unheard of when it comes to a chocolate-y bar.
As Angela told us, “You can invite nutrient-rich foods into your life through a treat,” and we completely agree.
Our team received generous sample boxes of all the goodness that Honey Mama’s has to offer, safely packaged with ice packs to prevent melting, paper-based wrappings, and no plastic to be found.
Honey Mama’s also prides themselves on the sourcing of their ingredients, using the same supplier as when they first started—the Oregon-based Hummingbird Wholesale, where they get their coconut, cocoa powder, coconut oil, almonds, and seasonal sprouted pumpkin seeds.
“Oregon-based” is a theme you’ll notice when it comes to sourcing, including beginning with buying organic, raw honey from local farmers in their home state.
As honey is a seasonal and precious commodity, Oregon honey farmers couldn’t keep up with Honey Mama’s rapid growth, so they now source from a few different suppliers to get the raw honey that the products are based upon.
Beyond ingredients, Honey Mama’s also has worked with the same Oregon-based paper packaging company since they first started.
One of their key philosophies about sourcing is “organic first”—although they don’t have a USDA Organic certification, almost all of the ingredients used are organic.
One exception is their sustainably sourced peppermint oil (found in the Oregon Mint bar), which they prioritized getting from a local heirloom mint farm in Oregon called Seely Mint, which doesn’t have an organic certification.
Their manufacturing facility in Portland does boast some certifications, including SQF (Safe Quality Food), which is a food safety and quality program that ensures that food has been produced, prepared, and handled according to the most rigorous standards.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the paleo and refined sugar-free cocoa truffle bars that Honey Mama’s has to offer.
Eating healthy does not have to taste bad, which is exemplified by Honey Mama’s flagship products, the cocoa truffle bars (which they technically can’t call “chocolate” due to a lack of cocoa butter, BTW).
These decadent bars are free from refined sugar, soy, eggs, dairy, gluten, and grains, so you can feel good about eating Honey Mama’s chocolate at any time.
Some of their more unique offerings include the Tahini Tangerine, Ginger Cardamom, and the rarely offered Cherry Hazelnut, but the original cocoa truffle bar was the Salted Almond (formerly called Original Dutch).
True chocolate lovers will rejoice with this simple balance of rich cocoa, sweet honey, and salty almonds with a melt-in-your-mouth texture.
Organic Raw Honey, Organic Sprouted Salted Almonds, Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil, Organic Alkalized Cocoa Powder, Himalayan Pink Salt, Vanilla Extract.
For those wanting a little pep in their step, the Coffee Nib Crunch bar provides a delicious pick-me-up from fair-trade coffee and a crunch of cacao nibs.
Organic Raw Honey, Organic Coconut, Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil, Organic Alkalized Cocoa Powder, Organic Cacao Nibs, Ground Coffee, Himalayan Pink Salt, Vanilla Extract.
If you’re not feeling the cocoa flavors, the recently-introduced cake series launched earlier in 2022—and they are just as tasty as the others.
Reminiscent of Funfetti cake (but on a much healthier level), the Birthday Cake bar is created with cashews, vanilla extract, and—of course—rainbow coconut sprinkles.
Organic Raw Honey, Organic Cashew Kernels, Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil, Organic Coconut, Organic Dates, Organic Coconut Flour, Vanilla Extract, Himalayan Pink Salt, Pure Almond Extract, Organic Beet Root Powder, Organic Spirulina, Organic Turmeric.
But if you’re not in the mood for sprinkles, Honey Mama’s also offers Chocolate Cake bars (which are, of course, cocoa-based and not blonde) and Carrot Cake bars, both of which provide a richness and decadence reminiscent of the cakes themselves.
Although Honey Mama’s is highly transparent about their local ingredient sourcing, a bit was lacking when it came to policy information that we had to hunt for.
As mentioned, we learned a ton from Christy and Angela about where their ingredients come from and the production process.
Their website also provides adequate information about each product, including nutritional stats, ingredients, and what kind of flavor profile you can expect—which is about all you need to know when it comes to food products like these.
Although we learned plenty about the backstory of Honey Mama’s during our interview with Christy and Angela, we’d love to see more of that inspiring story on the website, too.
Lastly, some points were docked for a lack of policy transparency—we couldn’t find a direct link to a shipping or returns policy page and had to hit Google for the answer.
Honey Mama’s website earned a solid A for a bright and modern design, a responsive and smooth shopping experience, and a blog loaded with healthy recipes.
The Honey Mama’s website is unsurprisingly filled with bright colors and modern layouts, making the shopping experience fun and playful.
Product navigation is straightforward—as they don’t have an extensive amount of products or categories, this is simple enough.
The only slight issue—if you could even call it that—was inconsistent price displays between the cocoa-based bars and the cake bars, but otherwise, everything was clean and smooth.
Lastly, Honey Mama’s blog is full of healthy and innovative recipes using the bars—yep, they can be used in other recipes, too—which rounded out the website experience.
With just one line of customer service communication with a 2-3 day email response time and pricey shipping costs with (understandably) no returns, we awarded Honey Mama’s with a B+.
Honey Mama’s provides just one line of communication—email—to get in touch or ask customer service-related questions.
When we sent an email, we received an automated reply an hour later saying that they would get back to us in 2-3 business days.
We did receive a helpful reply in just over 2 business days, so those requiring a quick answer might be out of luck.
We also recognize that Honey Mama’s operates with a small team, but getting a response quicker than a few business days is generally appreciated.
The shipping costs are also a bit pricey at $14.99 for standard shipping within 2-3 days, with free shipping on orders over $59.
During the colder months (October to March), orders will typically ship on the second day, while the warmer seasons require overnight shipping to prevent melting.
Plus, refunds or exchanges are not permitted unless the bars were damaged or incorrectly shipped, in which case they will solve the problem if contacted within 5 business days of receiving the order.
However, we do understand that the perishable nature of the product wouldn’t allow for typical returns and the fact that shipping with ice packs elevates the shipping cost.
Despite the $6-per-bar price tag, we found this to be relatively comparable to other high-end paleo bars, and we agreed that the value of the ingredients was well worth it.
The pricing of Honey Mama’s is consistent, with a $6 cost per bar across the board—each bar contains three servings, by the way.
Although there isn’t anything quite like Honey Mama’s cocoa truffle bars—which makes for a difficult comparison—we rounded up some similar paleo or low-sugar chocolate bars.
|Honey Mama’s||$6.00 for a 2.5oz bar ($2.40 per oz)*|
|Hu Chocolate Bars||$6.50 per 2.1oz bar ($3.10 per oz)*|
|Lily’s Stevia Chocolate Bars||$4.62 per 2.8oz bar ($1.65 per oz)*|
Honey Mama’s also has the benefit of high-quality, mostly organic ingredients, and providing additional value for people who want a delicious treat without compromising on health.
Overall, Honey Mama’s stacks up when it comes to healthier chocolate or cocoa bars, awarding them an A+ for value in our book.
With a commitment to local sourcing and philanthropy, innovative products that elevate public nutrition with low-sugar treats, and sustainable packaging, Honey Mama’s gets an A for brand value.
Last but not least, this slightly ambiguous category captures how much impact the brand has in the world—from philanthropy and sustainability to innovation and industry disruption.
Starting with innovation, Honey Mama’s is definitely not in short supply—in addition to creating the only honey-based and paleo cocoa truffle bar on the market, they also routinely come out with new and unique flavors (have you seen tahini tangerine cocoa bars anywhere else?).
As Christy stated about the innovative side of things, “As we continue to evolve and change, we will continue to create products that we love personally and we also listen to consumers.”
[Honey Mama’s wants to] empower the food as medicine movement and we do that through blissfully indulgent treats.Angela Lukic, VP of Marketing at Honey Mama’s
On the philanthropy side, Honey Mama’s is involved with Portland-based nonprofits like Urban Gleaners, an organization that collects fresh food before it can go to waste and distributes it to those in need.
They also place a focus on sustainability by sourcing from local growers and suppliers, as well as packaging their bars in paper.
Last but certainly not least, Honey Mama’s bars are elevating public nutrition by providing a delicious alternative to sugar-laden desserts.
As Angela told us, Honey Mama’s wants to “empower the food as medicine movement and we do that through blissfully indulgent treats.”
Some of the bars we’ve sampled so far include the Birthday Cake Blonde Truffle Bar, Chocolate Cake Cocoa Truffle Bar, Pumpkin Spice (seasonal), and Lavender Rose Cocoa Truffle Bar—all receiving rave reviews.
A personal favorite so far has been the Birthday Cake Blonde Truffle Bar—no surprise coming from a former Funfetti cake lover (who is delighted to have this much healthier take on the treat).
Other standouts include the floral and spa-like flavors of the Lavender Rose—which we agree with Angela’s sentiment that it’s “a gift to yourself”—and the dense fudginess from the Chocolate Cake.
Even though it wouldn’t seem like it due to the decadence and richness, these bars truly are nourishing, nutritious, and create a pleasurable experience.
Yes, Honey Mama’s Cocoa or Blonde Truffle Bars are a nutritious dessert or treat, with only 7g of honey-based sugar per bar.
The bars are also paleo, free from gluten, dairy, and soy, and made with mostly organic ingredients.
Honey Mama’s was founded in and is currently based in Portland, Oregon.
Yes, Honey Mama’s bars require refrigeration because they don’t contain any preservatives.
While Honey Mama’s is not USDA Organic Certified, most of their ingredients are organic.
The founder and owner of Honey Mama’s is Christy Goldsby.
Honey Mama’s earned high scores from us, aggregating to an overall A grade—and although we don’t technically grade on the subjective rating of taste, that would be an A+ in our books.
With rich and decadent fudge-like bars with 7g of sugar (from local, raw, organic honey, no less), and no gluten, dairy, or soy, Honey Mama’s Cocoa and Blonde Truffle Bars are a delicious treat with ingredients you can feel good about.
We also loved Honey Mama’s commitment to local sourcing, sustainable practices, and not-overpriced products (we know how expensive raw honey can be).
Overall, Christy put it best: “We’re going to stay true to who we are: a delicious little treat company.”
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