Jim Currin of Jim's Healthy Chocolates

Jim Currin of Jim’s Healthy Chocolates

Is there such a thing as “healthy chocolate?” Jim Currin of Jim’s Health Chocolates is out to prove that chocolate when made thoughtfully can be beneficial and delicious!

1. How long have you been making your signature chocolate and how did you get started in the business?
I’ve been a chocoholic my whole life, and have long been searching for a healthy alternative to the sugar and preservative-laden products on the market. This past August I was undergoing a cleanse in an attempt to pin-point some food allergies and was restricted to pretty much eating only lean proteins and greens. I was craving chocolates like crazy, but was also determined to stick with the cleanse, so I began to experiment with different chocolate concoctions in an attempt to find a healthy recipe as there was really nothing I could have in the stores. After about six months I came up with a combination that I thought was pretty good. I began taste tests with friends and with my students and got very positive reactions and also some kind but helpful suggestions. My taste testers began to encourage me to market my product and Jim’s Healthy Chocolates was born.
2. What were you doing before launching  your company?
I was and still am a teacher, though I would love for my chocolates to become much more than a fun hobby. I’ve taught grades K-University but have spent most of my life dedicated to high school kids. I started my career in a federally funded bilingual program for the children of migrant farm workers in south Texas. I’ve been an ESL/ Bilingual specialist for K-6, taught for a Junior College in the Texas Correctional System in Huntsville one summer (one summer was enough), and have created  or helped grow two dance programs for high schools, have been a graduate teaching fellow in the Spanish Department at U of Houston, but  as I mentioned above, the bulk of my time has been as a Spanish teacher in high schools. Currently I teach Spanish 3 and Spanish 5 AP Language and Culture at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, where I also serve as chair for Modern Languages, grades 1-12.
3. What’s the biggest thing that you’ve learned along the way since starting  your own chocolate business?
Chocolate is a delicious, but fickle friend. If you don’t treat it just right it can seize on you and then you’ve got to start all over. I’ve learned what the book and movie titled Como agua para el chocolate or Like Water for Chocolate  means! I find the cooking process fascinating and am always refining recipes and trying new mixtures, though I have certainly made my share of mistakes.
4. What’s the best thing to know about your chocolate that sets you apart from the rest? and how much chocolate do you eat in a day?
Since my chocolates are extremely good for the body, brain and soul, I start my morning with some for breakfast every day. I have crafted this recipe to actually be beneficial for you– the only trace of sugar in it comes from raw local honey and there are only a few drops of that in each piece. Dark Chocolate, organic coconut oil and flakes, Saigon cinnamon, organic stevia, organic sun-dried Chimayo chiles, Kosher sea salt, natural almonds and walnuts– I only use ingredients that actually promote good health and I think the taste is uniquely delicious. I used to live in Mexico and have long loved the traditional chocolate selections available there. Those wonderful flavors have definitely had an influence on my recipes. I eat it all day long, but have learned to refrain from indulging too close to bedtime as my first ingredient is 100% dark chocolate and that’ll keep you up and awake. Also, chocolate is a natural appetite suppressant, and when I don’t have time to snack I eat one of my chocolates, let it melt on my tongue and I’m satisfied for a good while. You might google “Chocolate diet” and check out the article that came out recently in the New York Times. My dark chocolate almond hearts are the perfect size to eat before and after meals and they come six to a package. How incredibly convenient! Cheaper than diet pills, delicious, fun to eat and good for you. Y’all come see me!
5. What do you love most about the Lone Star Farmers Market?
Oh, it’s definitely the people. What incredibly helpful, good-hearted, generous, honest folks. I love it!