When I fist moved to Sydney over 10 years ago I met Emica who was living with one of my friends. She was the beauty from Byron and totally into health. When I myself started learning about what I was putting into my body I was venturing in and around health food stores & organic places all around Sydney and that's exactly where I bumped into Emica again! It was so nice to see a friendly face I knew that I knew would be able to help me navigate aisles of products and produce I had little knowledge about. Emica is a Model/Chocolatier/Naturopath and makes my most favourite chocolates EVER! Totally organic, low GI, no sugar, no gluten and totally earth friendly. Im craving some salted caramel crunch right now! It's all about LOCO LOVE.
Tell us about your passion for chocolate and how Loco Love was born ?
I just started doing it about a year ago, experimenting with all sorts of raw treats. Funnily enough the best ones to come out were the chocolate bars. I always knew I wanted to work for myself; I needed my own hours and to be pursuing something I believed in and was creatively active in. I’ve also never followed a recipe in my life, so creating my own was a natural progression. Chocolate makes people feel happy and releases similar chemicals to when we fall in love, so this being said I feel I am helping people’s happiness, which is important to me.
You studied Naturopathy/nutrition - how has that helped form your products ?
So much. Being a qualified nutritionist definitely has given me the knowledge to develop the healthiest chocolates I can. With a great understanding of the effect of certain sweeteners on health, I have chosen to avoid the ones with a very high fructose content, such as agave. A lot of ‘healthy’ treats are packed full of agave which is terrible for your body. I am developing a new product which will be incredible in terms of healthy chocolate, if I can get the recipe right it could be pretty exciting. I’ll let you know when it’s ready. With my chocolates and everything else in my life, I find it pertinent to have a high level of integrity, being a nutritionist adds to this I believe.
Originally coming from the Byron area, how do you think that upbringing has shaped your lifestyle today ?
I have always been exposed to healthy foods, though when I was growing up I must say I was awfully unhealthy. I had this obsession with gaining weight, yes opposite to everyone else. So I ate pizza, take away food, corn chips, ice cream and cheese cake pretty much every day. Byron definitely didn't expose me to ‘health’ food, though it did help with my mindset. It was actually when I moved to Bondi when I was 19, I became sick from all the crappy food I was eating. So had to change my diet in order to get well again, I moved down the road from the Health Emporium and was gifted the book Healing With Wholefoods. These things changed my life and my interest for healthy living was born. Modelling for many years lead me to strange diets and it took years of study to actually work out what works best for me. Byron is an amazing place though when you're a teenager, health is a foreign concept; its all about partying and self saucing puddings.
What is something you were brought up with and still continue to practice today ?
I feel I should say something really conscious like meditation, though I’d be lying. I was brought up with a lot of freedom, so if that works I am still continuing to practice freedom. It’s very important to me to be who you are.
Now let's talk about the chocolate.... how do you come up with the flavours?
Actually its been really simple, I just think of a new flavour and usually the first recipe works out perfectly. Though i generally make myself slightly ill from over consumption of chocolate in the process. I’d like to thank my taste buds for guiding the way. I know that sounds really annoying, though I have help from my younger sister, she watches and listens intently and takes notes of everything I am creating. It’s my favourite part creating different flavours, I have way too many ideas that I can’t possibly make without a factory of Ompaloopas, though hopefully in the not-too-distant future this will be a reality (minus the ompaloopas). Obviously Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was my favourite childhood movie.
What is your favourite flavour?
I cant decide, I like all of them equally. Some days if I want something sweeter, then Salted Caramel Crunch is perfect. I actually eat them every day, even I cant believe I’m not sick of them. The flavours in my imagination taste pretty great too. I’ve been in NYC for 3 weeks and I am dying for one."
Where can people go try/buy your chocolates ?
At the moment they are only available in Sydney, this will hopefully change shortly. You can buy them from Orchard St, Dr Earth Newtown, The Health Emporium, Icebergs Terrace Cafe, Rubys Diner, O Organic Cafe, Maloneys Grocer, The Fruitologist, Conscious Life, Jiva Mukti Yoga, Bayside in Double Bay and Just Organics. Or we also offer private orders, events and functions.
Where do you source your ingredients from ?
Australian Certified Organic Wholesalers
What is your favourite ingredient to eat/mix with chocolate that people might not ordinarily think of?
I am into classics, like caramel and coconut. Lavender tastes amazing and pink pepper, though I don’t want to divulge too much information until the recipes are complete.
You follow a conscious lifestyle - tell us what it means to you to be conscious ?
This has the potential to be a very long-winded answer, though I’ll do my best to keep it simple (if you're lucky, because it’s one of my favourite topics). To me being conscious means to be aware and to have a clear and peaceful mind. Pure consciousness is when one’s sense of identity temporarily vacates, such as in meditation, and apperception occurs. Apperception is the minds perception of itself; it is pure awareness, as if feeling and seeing everything. This knowing is a direct experience, it’s hard to explain. It’s as if you lose your identity and ego, all that is left is love and joy. Now I sound crazy, though I'm not."
Being conscious means to act from a place of love for all other life on the planet though also to love yourself for who you are and understand who you are, freeing yourself of self doubt. To be kind hearted and have compassion for others and not to judge based on your own insecurities. Basically just be the best you can be and do your best for everything else.