Honey Mama’s Shows Resiliency Through Commitment to Honey

Honey Mamas 3

Photo Credit: Honey Mama's

Throughout the past decade, Honey Mama’s has stood firm in its commitment to clean, quality ingredients in its dessert bars. It’s one of the reasons why honey found its way into the company’s formula and name.

Still basking in the glow of a NEXTY Finalist nod at this year’s Natural Products Expo East, Honey Mama’s founder Christy Goldsby and Innovation Manager Ivy Entrekin chatted with the National Honey Board about the company’s Cocoa Truffle Bars.

NHB: Let’s start with the honey. Why did you decide to use honey as the one and only sweetener?
Goldsby: It’s one of my favorite things to talk about. For about a year or two I was trying to figure out a way to create a product that would encourage people to recognize food as medicine, and I wanted it to taste incredibly delicious, not just be functional. I played around with low glycemic sugars, and they were all beautiful, but I stumbled upon a raw food cookbook, and in that recipe dive I found honey.

Number one, as soon as I ate it, I loved the way that I felt. I felt an immediate nourishment, and the flavor profile was incredibly delicious; it had notes like a ‘food’ would. Honey was such a “yes” all the way around with the whole foods that I wanted to pair it with. It also was the binder for the bar — it was immediately such an important ingredient, and I fell in love with it. It’s magic.

Entrekin: I had been on my own health journey, and I had really been learning about sweeteners and about honey. It’s a sweetener, but it’s also a food. It’s anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory. I found Honey Mama’s at a farmers market, and I came to work here about a year later. Honey fit into the way I was trying to eat.

NHB: How do you decide what new flavors to introduce?
Goldsby: I lean into the nostalgic. Tahini Tangerine is like a Butterfinger Bar, but how can we tap into things that are classic favorites from our childhood and tap into things that people love?

Entrekin: That’s how our Cake Series came about — it’s seeking out that nostalgia. We had worked on Chocolate Cake a while back, and the opportunity came about to release a bar without cocoa powder [NEXTY Finalist Birthday Cake Blonde Truffle Bar]. It’s great to create these products that are made with 100% whole foods and that make you remember eating cake as a kid. We always start with the amazing base of honey and coconut oil and build from there.

NHB: There’s a lot of competition on the shelves right now. How do you set yourselves apart?
Goldsby: Texture is one of the main things that really sets us apart, and going back to the honey and the coconut oil — which is the fat that we use instead of cocoa butter. That’s a huge differentiator for us. Honey Mama’s is much more of an eye-popping experience when you put it in your mouth.

Entrekin: For me it’s also about the texture and the mouthfeel when you bite into a Honey Mama’s bar. When it boils down to it, we are a dessert, and it’s the amazing texture that you can’t find anywhere else in a bar made from really clean ingredients with nutritional value. Our bars have seven grams of sugar per serving, and that’s all from honey and maybe dried fruit depending on the bar. That’s all real food, amazing nutrients, and gut health support — you just don’t find that anywhere else as far as sweet snacks. Honey is the most natural sweetener you can have. It never spoils. It’s such a pure whole food and it’s been around for thousands of years. I think honey plays such a bigger role than just a sweetener.