This guy’s birthday gift was a winner. He married the girl and started a thriving business. Honeymoon Chocolates crafts sweet treats that benefit people, pollinators, and the planet—and just in time to impress your own Valentine!

Located in Clayton, Mo., the Honeymoon Chocolates production facility features a retail storefront and seating area. All of Honeymoon Chocolates’ compostable outer packaging proudly announces the bars are made with Missouri honey.

Cam Loyet may never eclipse the birthday gift of cacao nibs that he gave to Haley, the woman who would later become his wife. That unusual present started the couple on their journey to Honeymoon Chocolates, a company that makes bean-to-bar chocolate that is sweetened solely with raw honey.

Haley and Cam were dating and students at Illinois Wesleyan University when Cam presented Haley with the fateful gift. Soon the two were making craft chocolates in Cam’s four-person dorm suite, storing 50 kilogram bags of cacao in a five-by-eight-foot closet.

That’s a far cry from their current 2,500-square-foot manufacturing facility and storefront in Clayton, Mo., but the road to success wasn’t always straight. After graduating from college, marrying, and moving to St. Louis for advanced degrees (medical school for Haley, an MBA for Cam), they sidelined the company. Their passion for chocolate heated up again after Cam whipped up a batch for a class presentation at Washington University. With Cam’s newly minted MBA and a 2021 Arch Grant from the St. Louis nonprofit that supports entrepreneurs, the couple had the ingredients for a successful business.

Photo courtesy of Honeymoon Chocolates

Using honey as a natural sweetener was an easy and early decision. “We wanted something healthy, and we wanted it to be local,” says Cam, who serves as CEO. As compared to refined sugar, honey has a lower glycemic index, is roughly 50 percent sweeter (which means you can use less without sacrificing taste), and contains trace amounts of beneficial enzymes and minerals. The Loyets source their honey from two Missouri apiarists: Jeff Weaver in Bourbon and Steve Cooper in Fredericktown. A portion of each chocolate sale is donated to the Pollinator Partnership, a nonprofit that works to protect pollinators.

Honeymoon chocolate sources cacao with fairness to farmers as a primary concern. “Cacao is treated globally as a commodity,” Cam says. The global cocoa industry is valued at more than $11 billion, yet the average price paid to farmers is about $2 per day.” Cam and Haley seek to make a difference for farmers in Haiti, Peru, Belize, and other countries where cacao is grown by paying a premium price directly to farmers.

Honeymoon Chocolates are available online and in about 250 retail outlets in seven states and six countries. Retailers include Whole Foods, Hy-Vee locations in Kansas City and Columbia, select Schnucks stores in St. Louis, and boutique shops in the Midwest. Some flavors change seasonally, and others vary based on collaborations with other local companies. “Right now, for example, we have a Switchgrass Spirits rye whiskey chocolate bar,” Cam says.

Photo courtesy of Honeymoon Chocolates

As the Loyets eye the future, Cam says the company is developing a smaller bar at a lower price point than their 2.2-ounce bars that range from $10 to $13. Haley is in her second year of residency in pediatrics but fills the role of the majority owner of Honeymoon Chocolates. Cam hopes to double their number of retail outlets, and says in three to five years, it’ll likely need a larger facility.

“It would be great to be powered by solar or hydroelectricity, so we’re more energy independent and carbon neutral,” he says. It’s a move that would make Honeymoon Chocolates a sweet deal for the planet as well as its customers.

Honeymoon Chocolates’ storefront is located at 16 N. Central Ave. in Clayton, Mo. Visit for business hours, online ordering, and the company’s social responsibility statements.