You may know them through their music, but there’s now another place you’ll be seeing the Segal brothers around Bowen: on local stands for their new chocolate bars.
The four brothers – Bio, Aura, Joy, and Divi – debuted a new lineup of organic vegan chocolate bars – at the Ruddy, Squirrel, and Alderwood Farms this summer, as well as several stores on the mainland. The motto of their company, the Love Tree: “Our mission on Earth is to help unite people through music and chocolate.”
The Segals were inspired to create the bars thanks to chocolate’s spiritual nature. The four found themselves leading Cacao Ceremonies, where hot chocolate is consumed to open up the heart. “We all lead meditations and we’re all into breathwork, and through these Cacao Ceremonies we all just found a deep passion for chocolate,” says Joy. “And we found there’s two ways we can help open people’s hearts, and that’s through music and through chocolate.”
Soon after the formulating began here on Bowen, a process that requires plenty of patience to perfect. “It’s been a couple years in the making now actually,” says Divi, the lead chocolate formulator. Joy, Aura and Bio serve as the lead taste testers.
“They’re very strict, they said, it has to be more creamy!,” says Divi. “So I kept on working on the recipes and eventually we came up with these recipes that people really love.”
The Segal brothers are all plant based, so had to get creative to find substitutes for milk and white chocolate. They came up with the solution in the form of local B.C. oats. “We blend it for around 48 hours and give it that super creamy luxurious feel,” says Divi.
Developing the formula was just part of the puzzle though – there was still the business end of things to take care of. “There’s so many things like sourcing ingredients, to different rules for packaging and trying to get the organic certification, that took so much longer than expected. And all these other different steps along the way,” says Divi of the process. The chocolate bars are produced at a co-packer in North Vancouver.
The Love Tree has three different bars in production right now. “We kind of wanted to just reinvent the classic chocolates – the milk, the white and the dark. Take out the refined sugar and add in more whole food ingredients to make them healthier and as tasty as the usual ones. We’re starting with the classics but we’re eventually expanding to some more flavours,” explains Joy.
And Bowen has really taken to the taste. “It seems like people really want to support local Bowen people. It’s actually selling really well in Vancouver as well, but it seems like the Squirrel and the Ruddy have been ordering massive amounts,” says Divi. “We’re so grateful to have a presence on the island and share our chocolate.”
The Segals are still putting plenty of attention toward their music, they’re currently working on their first album in fact. They’ve found partnering up with family has allowed for a good balance with the business.
“It’s nice to have the support of our brothers. We all have different departments and skills we’re good at, and we’re not doing this alone,” says Divi.
“All of us have such similar intentions of spreading as much love as possible and uniting people, and reminding people we’re more similar than different. And we find food and music are really good reminders of the ways that we’re similar. Everyone loves chocolate!” he adds.
More info on Love Tree chocolate, along with photos and videos, can be found at thelovetree.ca, or @the.love.tree on Instagram.