An Idaho Falls-based chocolate company is expanding into Yellowstone National Park. The park’s stores will soon carry products from Kelsi’s Kitchen.
When a Montana store brought free samples to park employees, they liked them so much that they arranged to begin carrying Kelsi’s Kitchen products. Kelsi’s Kitchen is a business selling chocolate products made by two local Idaho Falls women, Kelsi Petersen and Cassandra Hume.
“A distributor was kind enough to bring samples to them. Once the manager in Yellowstone tried them, she was very enthusiastic,” Hume said.
The products fit well with national park values, which focus on selling local and healthy items. Kelsi’s Kitchen chocolates are unique in that they are made with only five main ingredients: almonds, honey cacao powder, coconut oil and salt. Considered a “raw food treat,” they are free of refined sugar, soy, eggs, dairy, gluten and grains. The chocolate bites come in multiple flavors, including, peanut butter, raspberry, mint, orange chia and double chocolate.
“They’re a great snack for outdoor adventures. Yellowstone really aligns with what we care most about, which is feeding people while they are creating memories. Kelsi grew up in the area, and Yellowstone one of those iconic places in our area. So it’s been amazing for Yellowstone to start carrying them,” Hume said.
In the short time since the business began, the chocolates have gone from being carried in one store, Green Life Juice Bar in Idaho Falls, to now selling in 60 stores across Idaho, Utah, Wyoming and Montana. Their most recent markets for of expansion include Sandpoint, Hailey and Bellevue.
“We’re still very much focused on growing in Idaho, where we can feel like we can meet the people in person who are enjoying our bites,” Hume said.
With the growth and Petersen adding a new baby to her family, the owners of Kelsi’s Kitchen switched from making everything out of Idaho Falls to a manufacturer in Utah in January.
“Kelsi and I are both brand new to the food industry. The transition, like so many things in life, has been unpredictable, but I think ultimately a good decision. Before, we were making everything by hand, just the two of us. We were hand-sealing every single one of our packages. We just couldn’t keep up with demand,” Hume said.
Instead, they have now focused on sales and marketing.
“It’s given us more time to spend with the stores selling our products; making sure they’re happy with us and making sure they’re getting everything they need,” Hume said.
Locally, people can find Kelsi’s Kitchen products at Wealth of Health, Apple Athletic Club and Green Life Juice Bar in Idaho Falls, and Broulim’s, Prepp’d and Ripp’d Nutrition in Ammon and Rexburg. The chocolates are also available online at kelsiskitchen.com.