“Chocolate is my yoga.” For Justin Frank Polgar, founder of botanical chocolate company YES Cacao, chocolate-making is the practice that he can return to in times of stress, in times of turmoil, that demonstrates for him where he currently is.
After several years of having not been the sole person creating his chocolate bars, Justin has recently returned to his practice and noticed how much it has evolved over the past ten years.
YES Cacao creates chocolate products made from organic, raw, wild-harvested cacao found in Ecuador, and infuses them with beneficial, function-specific ingredients.
Rather than filling the body with all sorts of chemicals and preservatives, YES Cacao opts to blend their raw dark chocolate with healthier ingredients like turmeric, maca, shilajit, fennel, reishi, lion’s mane, and kava. As chocolate acts as a vasodilator, meaning your blood vessels expand and substances filter more easily into your blood flow—the chocolate acts as a delicious delivery system—creating the perfect opportunity to consume better foods while still satisfying that sugar craving.
Another unique quality of YES Cacao is that their chocolates are made with individual intentions. For example, two of their collections are Gaba Baba, intended to help bliss you out, and Karma Mellowl, intended to help supercharge your mind.
Intentionality is key to Justin in everything that he does. Being a dedicated craftsman, father, and social entrepreneur, the past 10+ years have been a time for deep self-reflection for him, learning to approach his life and business through the guidance of his true self in order to make a difference.
The conversation we had with Justin in this episode—especially considering the crisis we are all facing in the wake of this life-altering pandemic—was an important one. It was so valuable to get his insights and personal reflections on this distressing time, and how this period can be seen as one of reset rather than of fear and chaos.
We also discuss the implications and experiences of mission-driven companies generally. We learn more about his entrepreneurial journey, and why understanding and learning more about yourself as a social impact-oriented entrepreneur is critical. Having a foundational understanding of your strengths, desires for what life you want to live, values, and principles, greatly determine the tactics that you implement and select in building and growing your business.
Founder Polgar with partner and YES Cacao’s “Director of YES,” Zoe Segal
“There is a difference between “obligation from your ego versus your higher self guiding you somewhere. The more you can be guided by your higher self, which has a more vantaged perspective for what you truly desire to do and what your purpose is in this life, listening more to that and really getting out of the obligatory stuff.” -Justin Frank Polgar
- The mission and meaning behind YES Cacao
- The opportunities Justin is anchoring himself to during this tumultuous period and how YES Cacao is moving forward
- Why self-awareness and reflection is so paramount, especially in the impact-driven space
- Why it’s so important for entrepreneurs in this space to pay attention to their priorities
- Staying determined and mindful in the midst of chaos
- Justin’s chocolate-making journey and what the craft means to him today
Links from the Episode:
- Justin on Facebook, Instagram
- Yes Cacao on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
- The Right Use of Will by Ceanne DeRohan
- The Philosopher’s Stone Grind
- Well Adjusted Clinic
- Dr. Randall’s Medicinal Mushrooms
- 11th Hour Coffee
Building a Better World, Together
Grow Ensemble, a 1% For the Planet business member, is an Impact Media + Marketing company on a mission to make more sustainable living and business the norm.