Raw nuts leads Hail Merry to develop heart-healthy indulgences
Trip to Hawaii sparks interest in better-for-you confections.
While traveling on the island of Maui, Hail Merry Founder Susan O’Brien stumbled upon the raw foods movement. She was immediately fascinated with how superfoods, living foods and raw plant-based dietary fats can improve overall health and wellbeing. She decided to learn all she could about the raw foods lifestyle, which challenged her entire approach to cooking and eating.
O’Brien was particularly fascinated by the heart-healthy benefits of raw nuts, as well as the energizing qualities of organic virgin coconut oil. But what she loved most about these fats was how luxurious they can make foods taste. The notion of “have your cake and eat it, too” was forming within her. She began experimenting with desserts, crafting insanely delicious treats that provide indulgent satisfaction for mind, body and soul.
It didn’t take long before O’Brien perfected her favorite recipes, and soon turned her poolside cabana into a manufacturing kitchen. She launched Hail Merry in 2008 and has been revolutionizing the clean, indulgent snacking experience ever since.
Out of Hail Merry’s portfolio of indulgent snacks, the company’s chocolate-based Cups are the most sought-after. They are made primarily using five super-clean ingredients: Organic virgin coconut oil, organic maple syrup, almonds, dark cocoa, and sea salt. It’s rare to find a snack so indulgent and tasty, yet made with so few ingredients that are so good for the body.
Organic virgin coconut oil is what gives the chocolate ganache its incredibly luxurious texture. It’s also well known for its beneficial medium chain triglycerides, also known as MCTs, and is consumed frequently by high-performance athletes, who embrace healthy fats as energizing and metabolizing fuel for the body.
The almond flour-based chocolate crust is so good it can stand alone as a shortbread cookie!
Organic maple syrup adds a rich sweetness, but also brings a high payload of minerals like potassium, manganese and zinc. Dark cocoa is appreciated for its antioxidant benefits, but most importantly it causes the brain to release endorphins, which decrease levels of both stress and pain, and make us feel good. Sea salt adds the perfect balance to the maple syrup, but is also rich in trace minerals and helps the body better absorb necessary vitamins and nutrients.
Consequently, Hail Merry’s clarion call is “Freedom to Indulge.”
If you were stranded on a deserted island with only one kind of candy, what would it be?
SNICKERS. I love SNICKERS bars!! The layers, textures, nuts, salt and chocolate are unquestionably in my mind the best candy hands down.
What’s the last cool thing you saw online?
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
What issues concern you most about the confectionery industry and why?
I believe whole heartedly in claiming an indulgent moment for oneself. The demonizing of sugar/ candy in our society is so unfortunate. Candy is no more sinful than alcohol (less actually), but sadly it gets a really bad rap. There should be more cultural ceremony around claiming an indulgent experience in America. The industry could do a way better job contextualizing how and why we indulge as a society, well beyond just Valentine’s Day.
What’s the last book you’ve read?
Wisdom of Sundays by Oprah Winfrey.
What is your pet peeve?
If given the chance to choose anyone, with whom would you like to collaborate?
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Live every moment in gratitude.
What excites you most about your job?
Working with really talented people who I adore and to watch the full potential of Hail Merry unfold.