Raw chocolate entrepreneur Kyle Burroughs has had a wild ride. From a rare gig as a skateboarder, to a vertigo scare that landed him on the path to raw foodism, to learning the art of raw chocolate in Hawaii from the American raw cacao pioneer himself—you’d think the retelling of his story might be colored by some cannabis, but it’s the honest truth. Burrough’s chocolate company caught our eye at Vermont’s Burlington Farmers’ Market this summer, and while the “CBD Raw Chocolate” sign lured us in, his story got us hooked. Just like Willy Wonka, the chocolate always tastes sweeter when there’s a good story behind it.

Dairy roots
While Burroughs Chocolate is exceptionally progressive by Vermont standards (according to Burroughs), its founder comes from an established line of Vermonters rooted in tradition. Burroughs explained that his family staked their claim in the area before Vermont officially became a state, and they started a dairy farm in the 1920s. The farm continued to be passed on to younger generations until Burroughs’ grandfather declined the offer, eventually settling it within the hands of his great aunt, who married it into another name. Ironically, Burroughs is allergic to dairy.

From skateboarder to chocolatier
Burroughs’ path to entrepreneurship is anything but linear. He grew to love skateboarding at a young age and became a sponsored amateur athlete. However, his blossoming career was kicked to the curb in 2008 after a severe case of vertigo that refused to abate. One day, Burroughs found himself going down the YouTube rabbit hole and landed on David Wolfe’s “Creating the Ultimate Smoothie” video. Burroughs made it for himself and claimed, “all of his symptoms went away.” This health miracle led him to pursue Wolfe’s teachings further, adopting a raw food diet for three years and eventually landing himself in Wolfe’s permaculture class in Hawaii. During this course, Wolfe took Burroughs under his wing, and Burroughs acquired the proper certifications to carry on these teachings about superfood elixirs. Raw cacao was a reoccuring component within this superfood realm, and after a gentle push from his then-girlfriend, Burroughs launched his raw chocolate company in his home state of Vermont in 2011. He was the first to sell a raw chocolate product in this maple syrup and dairy-obsessed state.

Fighting inflammation with chocolate … and CBD

“What better way to get people healthy than with chocolate, right? That’s one thing most people can get on board with,” Burroughs began.

The issue with most chocolates is that they are made with roasted cacao beans, which turns the fats rancid and can cause inflammation for some, according to Burroughs. Raw chocolate, however, contains twice as many antioxidants than the roasted variety, and since antioxidants fight inflammation, raw chocolate can have an anti-inflammatory, health-promoting effect. Combined with CBD, this effect is magnified. Burroughs said that many of his customers experienced “decreased anxiety and an overall sense of calmness and wellbeing.”

Due to the powerful effect, Burroughs did offer a bit of caution when consuming the CBD-infused bars. “CBD affects people differently, so it’s good to take it slow and see how you feel,” he advised. “Our bars can be broken easily into eight pieces to let you dose yourself according to how you are feeling. Five to 20 milligrams is usually the dose someone would take,” he added. Our takeaway: while the 80mg bar may be delicious, don’t eat it all in one sitting.