RALEIGH, NC – The chocolate industry saw strong growth during the pandemic. Online chocolate sales also rose 76%, according to a recent report from the National Confectioners Association.
Now two Raleigh women want to shape the industry by founding their new company.
What you need to know
- Spring & Mulberry is based in Raleigh and was recently launched by two friends
- The brand uses dates to sweeten their treats instead of sugar
- One of the co-founders is a breast cancer survivor and her health journey inspired her to focus on the quality of the ingredients in food
Kathryn Shah and Sarah Bell are behind the Spring & Mulberry brand. They hope to offer a healthier alternative to sugary snacks.
“Our dream is to be the next Godiva,” said Shah. “Basically be a Godiva to a modern day consumer who wants a beautiful, elegant, simple brand and wants high-quality, nutritious ingredients.”
The two friends are well on their way to achieving this ambitious goal.
Spring & Mulberry was in the making for years.
“All of our products are only sweetened with dates. We love dates because they are high in antioxidants and high in fiber and also a whole fruit compared to a sugar, ”said Shah.
While developing their products, Shah and Bell spent a lot of time in the kitchen perfecting their prototypes.
After starting their online store, their products are made in a wholesale friendly environment.
Ingredients in food became more important to Shah a few years ago.
“I’ve eliminated refined sugars and added foods high in antioxidants like ingredients at Spring & Mulberry. And for me it was really a rebirth of my life, back to reset and thinking about what is going on in my body and how that affects how I feel, how I look, how I carry myself, ”said Shah.
Shah’s new focus on health came when her own was in jeopardy.
“I was diagnosed with breast cancer in my early 30s and it was really traumatic because no one expected to be diagnosed with such a difficult disease this early in life,” said Shah.
But she was never someone to run away from a challenge.
“I think it’s about attitude, having a positive attitude and believing that you can make it and get through it,” said Shah.
She says there are similarities between her journey with cancer and now as a co-founder of a company.
“When the odds are not in your favor, just put your head down and do the right things and take it one step at a time,” said Shah.
Shah also says COVID-19 affected the Spring & Mulberry launch, which lasted approximately two years.
She says even though the pandemic has been going on for more than a year, shipping costs and the supply chain, including worldwide almond shipments, are still being impacted.