Life & Work with Steve Tapia
Today we’d like to introduce you to Steve and Nicole Tapia.
Hi Steve and Nicole, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourselves.
It all started with a health journey that my wife had started to try and find out why she was having debilitating migraines. She was seeking help from many different health professionals and, in that journey, found that she had a lot of food allergies. Those included soy, dairy, and table sugar.
One of the things that she was asked to do was to look at labels before she ate food to make sure that she did not eat any of the triggers that would produce or feed the migraines. One of her favorite foods is chocolate, and she found that it was very hard to find the perfect chocolate that didn’t have any of the harmful ingredients. So, I decided to find out how to make her chocolate on my own. I started researching chocolate making and watching YouTube videos on the subject. I studied how to make chocolate from bean to bar. I even ordered a machine to start making it on my own. It took me months to find the recipe with the perfect consistency. I made sure that I got the best ingredients that were not harmful to the body. Finding adequate substitutes for table sugar and cow’s milk.
My wife was so impressed she started giving it to her friends as treats, and they lost their minds. This really started off as something just to help my wife, but then it grew into something much bigger. My wife convinced me that we had to help other people out in the community that had the same issues, and it was a really big need that needed to be filled. And from there, it just grew into a very special movement.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
One thing was that we did not live in the Clearwater area. We were living in Polk County, so it was difficult to get ourselves out there. That area did not have any health food stores or that sort of mindset. We knew that Clearwater and the Tampa Bay area had a market for it, so we relocated so that we could be more successful.
Then, the next hurdle was that a lot of people didn’t know who we were. We had to come up with ideas to get known and get the right people to sample our chocolate. Also, we didn’t know anything about building a business. We got our start by asking friends and family to host a chocolate party. We would give out samples, and people would buy our bags of chocolate. This is how we got ourselves known in the community by word-of-mouth…
Thanks – so, what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
We specialize in making healthy organic chocolate with special ingredients that are not harmful to the body. We also are unique because we use a special machine that processes the ingredients for 48 hours. It gives our chocolate a very silky, smooth taste. Our chocolate ingredients are not only organic and non-GMO, but there’s absolutely no chemicals or pesticides in our products. They’re ethically sourced from Peru and Ecuador from fair trade companies that are planet friendly and of high quality.
We use processes a lot of the mainstream companies don’t do to temper the chocolate. In fact, many of them use wax so they can skip that step to make the chocolate more shelf stable. We take our time to make sure this process is properly done, and we don’t have to put harmful things in it that will hurt the body to get this done.
What do you think about luck?
We don’t believe in luck in our position because we’ve worked very hard to build all of the connections that we have by finding people that would be interested in our Chocolate and going out and talking to them.
The only thing I think that we might be blessed with is we are very good with communicating with people. We’re not shy to go out and talk to others that we don’t know. We don’t lack the communication skills. We’re able to just go out and talk to strangers and just go approach a business and just talk about what we do and we’re able to have good conversations and not be shy about it.
Something that happened that was very lucky was meeting the owner of a restaurant called Kara Lynn’s Kitchen. Carolyn Bradham has a restaurant that sells healthy organic food. Once she tasted our chocolate, she wanted to do all that she could to help us get to where we were legally able to do retail. When we first met her, we were actually having to follow food cottage laws and only able to sell to friends and family. She wanted us to be able to legally sell our chocolate in her restaurant. So, she got us in contact with someone that could fully hat us on the legal aspects of being able to do retail. Once that happened, she helped us get into a grocery store, Nature’s Food Patch in Clearwater, Florida. If we had not met her, I do not believe that our business would’ve taken off as fast as it has! She is an amazing entrepreneur, and she loves helping others in her community!
- Website: Chocolate on Tap
- Instagram: Chocolate_On_Tap
- Facebook: @Chocolateontap
- Youtube: @chocolateontap
- Other: @chocolateontap
Steve and Nicole Tapia
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