Lil Bucks Featured in Raaka Chocolate Bar

A dream collaboration has come to fruition with Raaka Chocolate. 🙏 I met someone from their team at EXPO West (the first trade show I ever went to) and was blown away by the packaging, the traceability of ingredients (most importantly, cacao) and unique flavors. And all the bars happen to be vegan! They also don’t roast their cacao so you are getting the most potent form of antioxidants from cacao in their chocolate. Raaka aims to capture “the brighter, bolder, and fruitier side of cacao.” My favorite flavors were the Coconut Milk, Oat Milk and Bananas Foster–so unique.

In true Emily-fashion (becoming obsessed with superfoods I come across cough sprouted buckwheat), I became extremely obsessed with Raaka Chocolate. Might’ve even ordered 5lbs of Raaka chocolate chips to experiment with recipes for a Lil Bucks chocolate (which confirmed, even more so, why Raaka is so amazing. High end chocolate is hard to work with, y’all). So I left the collaboration work in the hand of the chocolate masters themselves, Raaka. I mean, really. We just supplied the sprouted and dehydrated buckwheat and they magically transformed it into a GRANOLA BOWL BAR. 🍫🍫🍫

62% @raakachocolate + Lil Bucks Original + banana + hemp hearts + oat flour = “a chocolate reminiscent of morning granola.” Hi. This bar is part of their monthly chocolate subscription (you can subscribe to as little or many bars as you’d like), called First Nibs (great name). 

Those who I’ve met from the Raaka team are also the loveliest people, on a mission to create unique bars using traceable, high quality, single origin cacao. This is truly one of the best parts about being a food entrepreneur is meeting other passionate foodies behind the brands changing the game. If you are a chocolate fiend this is a must-try, and if you’re in Brooklyn visit the factory! 💙 Linked to their website below — take a look!! 

SHOP RAAKA CHOCOLATE

Healthy Soil Compost Partnership!

Last night I lucked out and got last-second entry to see Stephanie Izard, Top Chef winner and owner of Girl & The Goat, discuss food sustainability. Between obscure lines from Mrs. Doubtfire, ordering cocktails via her microphone, and hilarious side-stores (I’m all about a tangent), Stephanie discussed her new cook book “Gather & Graze” about how to repurpose leftovers instead of throwing them away, and how her Goat team implemented sustainable practices to redirect 10,000 pounds of kitchen scraps to the compost pile each month!

Five days ago, MindBodyGreen shared a podcast interview with Lauren Singer, the environmental kween who popularized the zero-waste movement through her blog, Trash Is for Tossers.  I loved this podcast – it reminded me to think about everything you throw in the trash… is it worth producing trash that is literally going to rot away for practically EVER?! What can we do to reduce? She offers practical solutions so you can gradually reduce your impact.

Both Stephanie Izard’s chat and Lauren’s podcast interview didn’t reveal any mind-blowing environmental practices we should all be doing… everything mentioned was relatively simple and doable, dare I say obvious, but we sometimes just forget we can do these things when you’re not in the habit. Lauren may have even convinced me to start concocting my own toothpaste – apparently it’s simple!

One of the things I can happily say I do is HOME COMPOSTING. Composting is such an obvious choice to save food waste from getting stuck in landfills and releasing dangerous CO2 emissions. And even if you live in a city with no yard (#highriselife) your city likely has a composting option. I started using Chicago’s Healthy Soil Compost Community compost program, where they drop off a bucket and you pay depending on how many times they pick up per month. All you do is leave the bucket by your door and they replace with a fresh one, and you compost, compost, compost. We have saved SO MUCH doing this. I throw any food waste that falls on the floor during Lil Bucks production in here.

I am stoked to partner with Healthy Soil Compost and you will see Lil Bucks promoting them at our upcoming events (see the end for our upcoming events). Also if you sign up (WHICH YOU REALLY SHOULD THIS IS SO EASY AND AWESOME), mention Emily from Lil Bucks so we get a discount 😛If you know anyone who owns a cafe or restaurant, send them this list of Chicago partners and get their restaurant on board. Lil Bucks may save a few lbs per month of food waste, but like Girl & The Goat, restaurants who compost can have a HUGE impact.

Have a great Thanksgiving, and GET CREATIVE with those leftovers friends!! Xoxo

UPCOMING LIL BUCKS EVENTS & HOLIDAY MARKETS

November 25th: Chicago Vegan Test Kitchen, 12pm – 5pm at Emporium Logan Square

November 27th: Lil Bucks x Vital Proteins x Title Boxing Club Wellness Event!! Come in for an evening class at Title Boxing Lincoln Park. Some other amazing brands will be there… DM @Lovelilbucks to get a spot / first class is free

December 7th: Revival Food Hall First Fridays Party and Holiday Market, 5pm – 9pm. This will be fun – kick off your weekend with some fun brands, a DJ, drinks, friends, etc.

 December 9th: Covet Markets at Revel Fulton Market 10am – 5pm! DM @lovelilbucks for a discount code for entry. I love this market!!

December 11th: Member appreciation event at AIR Lincoln Park – take a class and have fun with some cool brands!

December 12th: Sampling at The Startup Food Bash, 6pm – 8:30pm.


Greetings From Oaxaca + Lil Bucks Update

Hi friends!

Emily here – the founder of Lil Bucks. I decided to start posting more on the website to give you insight into the Lil Bucks journey, more information about Lil Bucks and the ingredients, and recipes of course!!

Writing from Oaxaca City, Mexico today. Things have been busy, launching on Amazon and working on some exciting new things coming up (updated packaging…  more products on Amazon… limited edition flavors…!! ). I also still freelance full-time to fuel the Lil Bucks hustle (…and my need for RXBAR peanut butter packs and acai bowls and paying rent and workout classes etc 🤷).

Yeah, technically Lil Bucks is still a “side hustle”, but the hours spent on this biz every week are really creeping up. 😁 Lil Bucks is #1 in my heart (after bf and family), and I have so many ideas to spread the Lil Bucks love and make your experience better, get into more stores, add more flavors… These ideas dominate my mind and I intend to make it all happen.

Amidst the craziness, my weeklong trip to Mexico with my Aussie friends really snuck up on me. I was so stoked to see them again (it’s been 1.5 years since I moved from Sydney!) but thinking about everything I wanted to do for Lil Bucks, using my free time to travel almost seemed like a waste of time (GASP I’ve never said that – but I did say “almost”).

Any pre-trip anxiety ended the moment I landed. It’s so good to take a step back and peek into another world, just chill out. As a cultural mecca, the “food capital” of Mexico, and its epic location surrounded by mountains, Oaxaca is the perfect place for that (and it’s warm – missed the first Chicago snow 😅).

On the flight over I also made a gameplan for when I get back. Just before leaving, I helped FroyoToFitness design and launch this EPIC 6-week challenge guide (it’s seriously so awesome), and her planning, passion and action really inspired me to do the same. So, when I get back later this week, expect some exciting things to come before the end of the year. Bear with me as Lil Bucks evolves as I’m sure I’ll test + fail on some things.

In the meantime, comment below or DM @lovelilbucks and let me know any ideas of things you’d like to see Lil Bucks do, an event we should attend, or stores/cafes we should reach out to. In the first half of 2019, I’d also like to start a Brand Ambassador program – if you’re interested, fill out this quick form so you’ll be the first to know.

Xoxo

– Em, founder, Lil Bucks