Katy Priore is high on life. And chocolate.
Chocolate, believes. The former pastry chef and trained hypnotherapist was exposed to the culinary world at a young age; her mother, Susie Priore, opened legendary Dallas restaurants Suze and Iris. But it was a chance encounter in San Francisco that got Priore hooked on chocolate.
“I ran into a friend who had recently started a cannabis chocolate company called Bhang,” she says. “That’s where I learned to transfer my love for pastries into my love for chocolate.”
This wasn’t some lackadaisical stoner kitchen operation. At Bhang, Priore learned the science behind making both cannabis-infused and pure chocolate. “Bhang was the first company to take edibles to the next level,” Priore says.
Bhang focused on the medicinal purpose behind the chocolate, not the recreational use, which was something that Priore appreciated. With this higher sense of purpose, she began to apply a happy-go- lucky outlook on her craft.
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“I started thinking about creating food with positive intention,” she says. “I thought, if I made all those medicated chocolate bars with love, then I would be making a difference on a large scale to all the patients who enjoyed them.” It’s with this same mindset that she moved back to Dallas and founded her current endeavor, Bark Chocolate. After all, even without cannabis inside, chocolate could be considered a drug all on its own. (And thank god it’s legal.)
“Your energy transfers into everything that you do,” she says. “If I go into the shop and I’m stressed or having a bad day, the chocolate won’t turn out right. But when I’m listening to some good music and feeling the love and positive energy, the chocolate turns out on point.”
Now she’s swirling up GMO-free barks with ingredients like gummy bears (Gummy Love), Cinnamon Toast Crunch (Campfire Crunch), and honey toffee (Tesuque Toffee, above). Of course, the treats are mixed with love, which Priore believes makes them taste so good.(And they really do; the Gummy Love is seriously addictive).
The next step for Bark Chocolate is a shop in the Dallas Farmers Market retail shed, where she’ll be expanding her offerings to include marshmallows, Pâte de Fruit, hot chocolate, and even treats made by other local vendors like Hypnotic Donuts and Kate Weiser Chocolates. No Bogarting here.