I first encountered Lulu's Chocolates at a gallery event: a drop-dead gorgeous woman, exuding calm, proffered me a chunk of chocolate paste on a toothpick. When it hit my tongue, I melted, the earth opened up, my mind wandered out of my body for a few exquisite seconds, and when it came back, I better understood my more primal yearnings. If it sounds like I had an orgasm, I did. Lulu's chocolate is that good. Louise "Lulu" Sharpe began fashioning her transcendental chocolates in Hawaii in 2006. When she brought her wares to Burning Man, she inspired a hunger that wasn't easily sated, and was soon cooking up a storm in a friend's certified kitchen while living out of her van. Now she has a certified kitchen of her own, and her orgasmic chocolates can be found at Food Front, People's Co-op, Alberta Co-op, Alma Chocolate, and Simply Nourishing.
How did you get into the biz?
I discovered the cacao tree when I was in Hawaii and I fell in love with it. I broke open the pod and ate the raw cacao seeds, and it was the feeling I'd always been looking for from chocolate. It made my brain tingle and gave me so much energy. I figured there had to be a way to get that feeling outside of the tropics.
Your chocolate is an utterly different animal from the usual dime-store fluff. What's the secret?
Everything we do is super minimally processed, totally raw and organic. And I don't use sugar; I use agave.
Was it difficult setting up the business aspect of it?
Not really. Oregon is the only state on the West Coast that certifies private kitchens. Setting up the accounts has been easy, and doing tastings is really fun. However the accounting aspect is a drag. Also, running a business out of a van sucks. Don't ever try it.
Are the medicinal benefits for real?
Absolutely. Chocolate is amazing brain food. It's great for heartbreak, libido, or as an energy food. The stimulant in raw chocolate is called theobromine, which is gentle on your nervous system. It lifts you up and it sustains you. And all my chocolates contain maca, a Peruvian herb that is a sexual organ tonic. My new Magick Moon Blend is designed to help with moodiness, cramping, and libido. It has extra maca and rosemary.
Can a person eat too much chocolate?
I've had people come to me with testimonies that they're using my chocolate in place of cocaine and ecstasy. For a while I was running a "Cocoa Not Cocaine" campaign, where I'd give chocolate to people who were having cocaine problems. They claim it saved them. Is there such a thing as too much? That depends on how high you like to be.