\ ˈfīn \
- nice, pleasant
- fine, thin
- delicate, meticulous
- made of small pieces, grains etc.
Winter is here and that means snuggling up on a couch, watching the snowflakes slowly fall, while sipping your favorite hot drink. For the ‘Bradley Clan’ that hot drink would definitely be their unique blend of Fijn cocoa. What began as an experiment to create a hot chocolate drink, that wasn’t so sweet, quickly developed into a deliciously fun family business; sharing the ‘Fijn’ life with everyone!
Fijn Co. is the result of Annie Bradley’s love of chocolate. “I just have a complete love for good chocolate, and I’ve always loved hot chocolate, but it was too sweet. So, I’d add less and then it would be too watered down, so I just started making my own.” And, that’s how it all started!
What’s in a name?
Annie and her daughter, Shauni, and two daughters-in-law, Lillian, and Tricia, combined forces to scour the world for the best, and most healthy, ingredients to create a hot cocoa that was not only delightful for the taste buds, but wholesome, nutritious, and good for the body. Annie shares, “We just made it into something kind of special […] it feels so good and so healthy. But there’s so much more to Fijn than the actual cocoa. It’s a life style.” You can hear the excitement in her voice as she continues, “Our mantra is give, give, and give some more; and how much more meaningful life is when you do that. We thought we’d start with the cocoa and see where it takes us.” The company name may seem a little odd at first; however, once you learn the meaning — it makes perfect sense. Annie explains, “Fijn (pronounced ‘fine’) is the Dutch word for refined or delicate. We feel it applies to our relationships and everything, in that they should be more refined; that we should be more intentional about our relationships with other people. So, that is what fijn means.” She laughs, “Besides the fact that it is really an amazing cocoa, a fantastic product, and the ingredients are so healthy for you.”
A chocolate drink that’s good for you?
Tricia is the ingredient guru and shares, “We worked really hard to find the best ingredients. What we love is that there are only five ingredients in our mix: equal parts cocoa and collagen, with hemp protein powder, Saigon cinnamon, and Redmond’s sea salt.” Everything, except the cocoa, is sourced here in the U.S., and of course the Redmond’s sea salt is from right here in Heber Valley. “Our cocoa is originally sourced from Ghana — which is really fun because that is where Lillian is from and so we love that connection. There are no artificial sweeteners or anything like that — it’s just raw and real. We love to sweeten ours with raw honey, but you can use coconut sugar, monk fruit, maple syrup, or whatever you like. It’s fun because people can really make it their own in a way that is best for them individually.” Tricia laughs as she continues, “It makes us feel good and healthy when we drink it and when our bodies feel good our souls feel good and then we can connect with other people.”
A unanimous chorus of everyone talking about connections makes it very clear that ‘people’ are the driving force behind these women’s lives. Lillian explaines, “Our mission statement is: Live the Fijn Life. This goal of living the Fijn life is not just about feeling good yourself, but being healthy, so you can go out and lift other people. From the very beginning it was important that we create something special that connects people — that’s really the mission behind what we are doing. The product is just an avenue to get there. The fact that it’s just delicious is a bonus.” Shauni jumps in to add, “One of my favorite quotes is: “We’re all just walking each other home.” I feel like that’s what we are doing. From our ingredients to our purpose to be grounded our selves — everything is just raw and real. It’s been really cool to see our community grow; there are a lot of people looking for healthy foods to put in their bodies.” She chuckles (yes, these gals laugh — a lot!) and continues, “We call it our Fijn moment. It’s a time where you can just relax as you drink, and focus on grounding yourself. It’s an intentional moment.”
Annie, Shauni, Lillian, and Tricia, have all been very intentional with everything they have done since their Fijn journey began one year ago. From the ingredients to the name to the brand to the connections they’ve made along the way, everything has been done with the sole purpose to create a product that brings people together. Fijn Co. has not only brought the Bradley family together, but friends and neighbors have connected as well. Each of these women giggle and laugh as they vie for attention to give accolades to all those who are helping them achieve their goals. From neighbors like, La Tysha Mitchell who taught them to sew, to other family members like their dad Randy (Annie’s husband), and sister Shelbi. “Shelbi has a great eye and does our events, she’ll take her designs to dad and they work together; making all the wood pieces and everything by hand — we have a talented family,” Shauni shares. Annie chimes in with, “We’ve had a lot of cheerleaders, support, and help.”
It is obvious that they’ve discovered the ‘secret’ behind running a family business. Shauni explains, “We laugh — a lot — with each other, and at ourselves, it’s all healthy. We just love each other.” Lillian adds, “I think that is part of the magic for us. We are definitely easy going and willing to work with each other. We’re patient and respectful with each other and it just works. We’ve gotten that as a compliment and I think that’s part of what has helped us be successful both in life and in business — plus we all really like hanging out together — so, we make a great team.” Each of them bring something unique to the team and they all mesh well. Lillian is over operations and marketing; Tricia and Annie work together, researching and sourcing all the ingredients; Shauni handles all of their social media; and they all agree with Shauni when she says with pride and love that, “Mom [Annie] is absolutely the vision, she drives us and it’s perfect for our team. She is the heart.”
Annie has some pretty big dreams to make Fijn Co. a household name, but for now they are focusing on the cocoa and the connections. Annie, Lillian, Shauni, and Tricia sum it up perfectly, “Everything is made with love. Yes, it’s a yummy, delicious cup of cocoa, but it’s so much more than that. With each cup of Fijn cocoa we want everyone to experience a Fijn moment and to give love. Love ourselves and those around us.”
Dutch Cocoa is alkalized so it is easier on your stomach than other cocoa. It also has a high healthy fat content — that your body loves — which gives the cocoa its creamy texture.
Collagen is good for our entire bodies, especially our gut, skin, nails, and bones. Naturally occurring collagen in our bodies isn’t produced as well as it should be anymore due to our modern-day lifestyles.
Hemp Protein in the form of an organic powder is one of the best proteins for your body to digest fully and put to good use.
Annie’s Favorite Way to Enjoy a Cup of Fijn Cocoa:
“Heat just enough water to dissolve your cocoa. Add cocoa and your choice of sweetener, mine is raw honey, dissolve together. Then add ice and fill with water and heavy whipping cream. It’s so good!”
You can find Fijn Co. Cocoa at:
The Bedroom – Park City
Redmond’s – Heber, Provo & Sugarhouse
and online at www.fijnco.com