One warm summer’s night 4 ½ years ago, David Lurie, the founder and president of Sun Cups, got a visit from a stranger that would change his life. At the time, David’s company was called Seth Ellis Chocolatier, and their specialty was chocolate truffles. That stranger was named Aaron, and he was the father of a peanut-allergic little boy. He arrived carrying a jar of sunflower butter, and when David opened the door, presented him with the challenge of creating a version of a Reese’s peanut butter cup that his son could eat. Up for the challenge, David set to work and by the next morning, he had made by hand the very first milk chocolate Sun Cup.
Sun Cups are one of the very few chocolates out there that are completely nut-free. That means no cross contamination so that kids like Aaron’s son who are severely allergic to peanuts or tree nuts can safely eat their own tasty version of a Reese’s peanut butter cup. Sun Cups takes their commitment to being nut-free seriously. Their factory is 100% sealed, and employees are not allowed to eat nuts during the workday. They are required to wash up vigorously twice before entering the factory, and any food they bring in for work must be stored in a completely different location. They wear special lab coats and shoes that are only worn inside the factory. These employees are a small team of part-time employees who are mostly Mom’s – David likes it this way as these Mom’s bring the same level of care to making Sun Cups as they do to raising their kids.
Sun Cups only uses non-GMO high quality chocolate (their milk chocolate is actually the first Non-GMO Project verified milk chocolate in the US). I was able to taste some of the pure chocolate during my visit to their factory in Boulder, Colorado, and I could have sat there and eaten the chocolate just on its own it was so rich and delicious! Sun Cups are are free of the top 7 food allergens (they do contain a small amount of dairy), including being certified gluten-free and soy-free, as they do not contain soy lecithin, a common emulsifier found in almost all other chocolates.
As I sit here munching on a dark chocolate Sun Cup, I truly feel like I am indulging my sweet tooth as well as doing my body a favor. Dark chocolate is known for its health benefits when eaten in moderation, including improving blood flow to your heart and brain, therefore lowering blood pressure and improving cognitive function. It is full of antioxidants and minerals like potassium and copper and even is said to help control blood sugar. Sunflower butter also has its benefits – it is high in vitamin E, magnesium, and phytosterols, which are said to help lower cholesterol. That being said, both chocolate and sunflower butter have a decent amount of fat in them, so like most everything, moderation is the key.
Sun Cups are available in dark and milk chocolate varieties online in our shop (click here), or for a limited time, as part of our gluten-free Valentine’s Day box. If you’re a foodie (nut-free or not) and like trying new things, get some now and taste them for yourself!