When you step into Divine Treasures Chocolates in Manchester, you’re in for some divine sensations in smell and taste. You're also in for the divine realization that these sweets are healthy.
Diane Blanchette-Wagemann, who owns the shop, loves her chocolate, but she wasn’t as fond of all the sugar that comes with eating it daily. For that reason, she opened her own chocolate company three years ago.
"Every morning I have to have a piece of chocolate. It's such a love," Blanchette-Wagemann said.
So she adapted her grandmother's recipes and developed a dark chocolate that's vegan and gluten-free.
"I am a vegetarian, I don’t eat dairy and I used to work in a gluten free market so I know gluten free inside and out. And there was a lot of chocolate out there even the dark chocolates have dairy."
She also has a sugar-free selection.
"The organic Belgium chocolate that we use is very high end. It is not inexpensive chocolate that we bring in, and when you taste it and you feel the mouthful of it, you just, people fall in love with it," she said.
It’s also healthy.
“A very good dark chocolate that's processed, the nice old-fashioned European like this one, has a lot of antioxidants -- probably more than blueberries. Therefore, your body really needs that,” she said.
“They taste very much like delicious chocolates,” Low said. "I like the fact that it's gluten free and it's vegetarian.”
She's not the only one.
Blanchette-Wagemann now sells in dozens of stores in several different states, including Whole Foods.
"I’ve had an extremely great response," she said.
The product has become so popular that she literally had to turn wholesale orders away during the holidays.
Blanchette-Wagemeann also embraces a green approach to other areas of her business. She recycles packing supplies from neighboring businesses.
At the heart of her business is a product that she says just makes you feel good.
"When I put one of these in my mouth I automatically have to smile,” she said.