THROUGHOUT HISTORY, PEOPLE HAVE OFTEN BEEN SEARCHING FOR THEIR PATH IN LIFE NOT WITH THEIR HEARTS BUT WITH THEIR MINDS. FOR NIKOLAS, HE CHOSE THE ROAD LESS TRAVELLED, EVEN WHILE FACING LIFE’S CHALLENGES. WITH AN OPEN HEART AND A QUIET MIND HE HEARD HIS CALLING AND EMBRACED IT FULLY. WHAT CAME NEXT IS A STORY ABOUT OVERCOMING ADVERSITY, CHANNELING ABUNDANT ENTHUSIASM AND, OF COURSE, THE MAGIC OF RAW CHOCOLATE.
HI NIKOLAS! CAN YOU INTRODUCE YOURSELF AND HOW NUTRINUGGET CAME TO LIFE?
As a chef, with deep love, endless enthusiasm, and a strong connection with nature, I naturally gravitated towards food alchemy. Some of my fondest, most joyful memories are those of when I would perform theatre on stage throughout my youth overseas. I felt an abundance of joy when I moved the audience with my heart. From a tender age, I had a vibrant energy and boundless enthusiasm that I desired to share with the world. Creating a healthy, nourishing raw chocolate product came to me through meditation in late 2013. I realized that I could bring joy to others by combining the magic of cacao with other healthy, delicious superfoods. Taking a leap of faith to pursue this calling in 2015, I have never looked back.
Chef Nikolas in Peru, 2018.
TELL US ABOUT THE PROCESS OF COMBINING SUPERFOODS WITH RAW CHOCOLATE. HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE RAW CHOCOLATE PRODUCT THAT WE ENJOY TODAY?
It may be surprising to hear that while I have worked in the food industry for years, I only started experimenting with raw chocolate in 2013. The more I researched about the nourishing, quasi-magical properties of superfoods and especially raw chocolate, the more I understood the consumers’ demand for a unique product like this on the market. I plunged into my research with great intention, and at the time I asked myself: “Will this product be beneficial to others?”And from the depth of my heart, the answer was a crystal clear “Yes, yes, yes!” which propelled and invigorated me to pursue the project with more enthusiasm and passion.
I took my time developing the NutriNugget formula in my humble kitchen just north of Montreal. Vigorous study and research took place over the course of a year. With the help of food scientists at the Government’s CRDA facility, I perfected the ratios of my ingredients to balance the nutritional value of my end product.
Once my formula was ready, I let it rest and infuse for the better part of a year like a good red wine. Meanwhile, I put my energy into financing my project, focusing on the logistics of packaging, and ultimately launching NutriNugget to the market in 2016. Throughout the process I never lost sight of my goal, which I have come to genuinely believe is my purpose and mission in life.
WHAT IS SPECIAL ABOUT NUTRINUGGET?
My aim is to develop a product that you can indulge guilt-free, all with extraordinary taste and high nutritional value. This is not a chocolate bar littered with refined sugar, and unpronounceable additives – this is a healthy and delicious alternative that boosts immunity and elevates endorphins with a kick of good energy. Actually, both layers of NutriNugget are engaged in harmony which defines the beauty and uniqueness of the product.
Have you noticed that NutriNugget is cut into squares? I have vivid memories of my mother cooking extra meals to share with our neighbors back in Greece and the happiness it brought both parties. My mother instilled in me the notion that “sharing is caring“from a very young age and it has stuck to this day. This small detail brings me so much joy when I think of my consumers sharing a delicious square of NutriNugget with their family or friends!
WHERE DO YOU SOURCE YOUR RAW CACAO AND OTHER SUPERFOODS?
It is highly important to me that the raw superfoods and cacao that I source are of the highest quality, organic and fair-trade, which are ultimately beneficial to everyone’s wellbeing. Personally, I take the extra mile to visit the hardworking farmers in the Amazonian jungle where I obtain my ingredients. Connecting with them and their land brings more vitality to NutriNugget and encourages and inspires the producers to take care of the land in the most organic way possible. When farmers pour love into their crops through ethical practices, it’s no secret that their crops thrive and yield the highest quality of nutrients which I then select.
Chef Nikolas and cacao farmer Hernan in Peru, 2018.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Over the course of my life, I have overcome profound moments of adversity, struggle, and challenges. My path has not been an easy one and now that I am deeply immersed in my cause, I want to encourage and teach others that they too can find their passion simply within their hearts. This belief invigorates and inspires me to continue my quest for positive change and to make a difference in people’s lives.
A LOT OF ENTHUSIASM GOES INTO YOUR BUSINESS. WHAT IMPACT DO YOU WANT TO CREATE WITH NUTRINUGGET?
We live in an era where we are increasingly overworked, overstressed, and unfortunately over-stimulated by digital technology. My aim is to instill people’s confidence to search and connect from within. Secondly, my desire is to promote a healthy lifestyle along with the benefits of eco-consciousness. NutriNugget is a product that is uplifting, immunity-boosting and full of powerful antioxidants. I am so incredibly excited to nourish the body and satisfy the soul with the magic of NutriNugget!
WHAT’S NEXT FOR NUTRINUGGET?
I’ve already established an excellent menu and more soul-nourishing products are on their way. The goal of all my creations is to satisfy the sweet tooth with a product that benefits the mind, body, and soul all at once.
STAY TUNED FOR MORE OF MY PRODUCTS LAUNCHING SOON!