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Meet Monique Lawton of Cocoa Bar In A Jar in Santa Clarita

Today we’d like to introduce you to Monique Lawton.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Monique. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I launched Cocoa Bar In A Jar in February of 2017. What originated as a treat I would make for myself for years to fulfill and satisfy my own sweet tooth, became income leverage in my new-found single-dom/parenthood. I never had any intention of ‘selling’ CBJ, even though I would share it with friends and family who all encouraged me to. At the time when I created the recipe, I was a stay at home mom very much devoted to taking care of my two young boys and cooking and eating healthy meals.

I created CBJ because I love chocolate and sweets, but focus on nutrient density and quality of ingredients. I wanted a treat that tasted decadent and naughty but didn’t taste like a ‘diet’ food and checked all my ‘foodie’ health boxes. Dairy-free, low sugar, lower fat, made from whole food ingredients and out of this world delicious. Today, I’m proud to say, I have accomplished all these things and continue to expand the line of healthier ‘Nutella’ chocolate spreads to include more flavors.

Has it been a smooth road?
Like with any start-up, there are always struggles, but that’s to be expected. Jars not sealing and leaking, not being able to keep up with the demand, finding a manufacturer that could accommodate a small business, etc. I really can’t say that I’ve experienced anything that has derailed me, though (yet, hahaha!). The truth is, as an entrepreneur, the most valuable tool I think we can have is adaptability. Something isn’t working. I bend. I adjust. I seek solutions. Makes it so much easier and not to mention fun!

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Cocoa Bar In A Jar story. Tell us more about the business.
Cocoa Bar In A Jar, like I said, is a healthier ‘Nutella’ like spread. I offer two flavors, Peanut Butter Cup and Thin Mint and will be welcoming a Chocolate Brownie Batter flavor to the CBJ family this month. I have a large (but not limited to) macro-minded community. My Instagram following encompasses a large fitness community that looks to maximize their diets by eating delicious yet healthy foods that also have the most calorie-conscious nutritional profiles. For example, CBJ has half the fat of peanut butter and only 5 grams of added sugar vs Nutella which has 20 grams of sugar per serving.

Also, CBJ is made from coconut butter which when chilled hardens into a candy shell on ice cream or can be made into fun chocolate candies when chilled! Right now, I focus on selling direct to the consumer which eliminates the ‘middle man’ and gives me the opportunity (even as a small company) to donate a portion of monthly sales to OUR RESCUE a charity that rescues and rehabilitates children from sex trafficking and prosecutes the predators. I look forward to growing and contributing more to even more inspiring charities.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I think health and wellness is the biggest trend I’ve seen in all my life. I actually owned a clothing boutique prior to staying home with my boys, and talk about trends…that’s what that whole business was about! But, health and wellness (mind, body, emotional) isn’t going anywhere. And, the best part is it’s such a positive space to work in and not to mention an honor to be a part of!


  • $14.95 per jar

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