Raw Shakti Chocolate LLC was founded by Don Rowe. Since 1993, Don has been preparing raw foods and experiencing the health benefits. His interest in raw chocolate was first sparked after he moved to Spain in 1999 and developed a taste for good food and for high-quality, real, dark chocolate. After returning to the United States seven years later, he combined his passion for raw foods with his curiosity about chocolate and discovered the health properties and incredible taste of raw cacao. He became determined to craft raw chocolate made with the finest, minimally-procesed ingredients. In 2008, Don began a small, farmer’s market business in Asheville, North Carolina selling micro-greens and raw chocolate under the name Avens Organics.
When he first sold his chocolate at a farmer’s market in Asheville, he learned that many people have never eaten real chocolate and received overwhelming positive feedback. In response to the popularity of his chocolate at the markets, he changed the company’s name to Raw Shakti Chocolate LLC in 2011, and began focusing on small-scale, handcrafted chocolate production.
He developed a line of five varieties of chocolate bars, which are currently being sold at farmer’s markets, local festivals and retail locations including natural food stores, gourmet and specialty stores, coffee shops, wine stores and more. In September 2011, Carlye Gates joined Raw Shakti Chocolate LLC as the Business Development Manager to increase sales from a local market to a national market, while preserving the company’s values and quality, hand-crafted chocolate production.
Don Rowe values healthy living and sustainability, which shapes his business model and craft. Hen enjoys connecting with other cultures, while living in harmony with the land. He holds a PhD in Geography and Land Planning from the University of Barcelona in Spain, and he has lived, volunteered, or traveled in over 50 countries. He recently settled in western North Carolina and aspires to develop a forest-gardening project, based on permaculture principles.
“Shakti”, is derived from the Sanskrit word “shak” meaning sacred force or empowerment. In Hindi, “shakti” means the embodiment of divine, creative power. Shakti reflects our commitment of being empowered and empowering others to use their creative energy to live in harmony with others and the environment.
“生” means raw or unprocessed in Japanese and to give birth or to grow in Chinese. This character symbolizes our passion for creating raw chocolate bars that support the vitality of our customers, our community and the environment.