Nicole Hewat spends a lot of time in her art studio, creating masterpieces with a paintbrush that evokes emotion and joy in every viewer. She uses rich, deep colors, and her paintings tell a story one cannot achieve with other mediums. This is because Nicole paints with cocoa butter, one of the main ingredients in chocolate. Yes, the kind you eat. Nicole has combined her love of painting with her love for chocolate, and she has built a successful business doing so.
Nicole Hewat founded World Tree Chocolate in 2019 in Ontario, Canada. She has always loved craft chocolate and the variety of flavors it provides. While living in Victoria, BC, Nicole was introduced to many new types of chocolate and dove into learning about the world of chocolate. When she started her small business, she decided to curate and sell delicious collections of craft chocolate bars.
Chocolate is typically thought of as a tasty treat. There are flavors created that most people would never even dream of, and the options for craft chocolate can go beyond the wildest dreams of many. One of Nicole’s goals is to introduce people to new delicious treats and hopefully help them find favorites they might never have tried otherwise.
Usually, the uses for chocolate end with the last tasty bite, but this was not the case for Hewat. She was able to extend the use of chocolate ingredients for something truly incredible—she uses it to paint.
Creativity has always been an important part of Nicole's life, so she came up with the idea to use cocoa butter as a medium for her paintings. From the age of seven, Hewat has been formally trained in painting, and she has specialized in oil painting. At the University of Guelph, she majored in studio art with a focus on painting. She started making sculptures and paintings when she was four years old, and she has not stopped since.
Hewat's extensive training has allowed her to have a complex understanding of color, subject matter, and artistic techniques. Oil painting can be a difficult medium, and it requires extensive technical knowledge that Nicole possesses. Her years of training and hard work have translated into an artistic prowess that makes her work truly special.
Being very familiar with oil paintings, Nicole decided to switch the linseed oil that traditionally is used in oil paints for cocoa butter. She experimented with different formulas to see what worked and what didn't. One of the main differences between Nicole's process and traditional methods is that linseed oil stays fluid while painting but dries after. Cocoa butter paint, on the other hand, does not dry like traditional oil paint and must be kept warm to keep it fluid during the painting process.
Hewat found that her paint worked well on glass, so she created her works on glass sheets, took photographs of the artworks, and then scraped them off. She worked with a metal palette and kept it over a bowl of hot water to make sure that the paint stayed fluid enough to work with.
When choosing pigments for her paints, Hewat picks natural pigments that are no longer edible. She uses a palette knife and glass muller to mix the pigment with the cocoa butter. She makes all of her paints herself, and she has to be careful to keep them on her metal palette to keep them in the correct texture to use for painting.
Her work is not permanent, but that adds to the beauty of it. Like a delicious chocolate bar, her artwork will never last long, but it will leave a lasting impression that will bring great joy to the consumer. The temporary nature of her work wonderfully represents chocolate.
As a small business owner, Nicole prioritizes doing what she loves, and she has found that her passion for her business has translated into its success. She is truly passionate about both chocolate and art, and she found an unlikely way to merge the two so that each day she feels fulfilled and excited to continue on her journey. Owning a small business can be challenging, and many difficulties arise with becoming an entrepreneur, but with passion and hard work, Nicole has found that she can overcome these challenges and accomplish everything she has dreamed of and even more.
Nicole carefully selects which chocolate bars to sell. As a chocolate entrepreneur, she makes sure to curate a collection of bars that she enjoys eating, as she knows her customers will enjoy them as well. She focuses on ethically made chocolate with ingredients that are carefully sourced. She takes the time to educate herself on who makes the chocolate, what they use, and how the bars are made.
The chocolate industry has been known to have issues with supply chains in the past, as ingredients have been sourced in a way that damages the environment or the workers who harvest the cacao beans. Hewat looks to change this and to focus on community support and solidarity, as well as using high-quality cacao beans that make high-quality chocolate.
Nicole created a book called Cacao to Chocolate, Midge, and the Chocolate Rainbow. Her goal with this book was to teach readers about cacao and the process of making chocolate. Her book tells this important story and is accompanied by beautiful paintings that Hewat created herself using cacao powder and butter.
The paintings in the book complement the poetry to show how a cacao pod turns into a chocolate bar. She decided to create the book as a means of educating people about the process of how chocolate is made. Before she educated herself about it, she did not know how chocolate was made, and she enjoyed learning about it and wanted to share that knowledge with others.
She also wanted to share her artwork, and including a collection in her book seemed like the perfect opportunity to show her cocoa butter paintings to people who were interested in both chocolate and art. As an artist, it is important to Nicole to have a way to show her art to people in a more accessible way, and her book seemed like the perfect vessel to do so, especially because the topic matched perfectly with the subject matter of her paintings.
Hewat wants to share the process of making chocolate with the world. She is passionate about it and wants others to be passionate as well. Nicole offers a curated selection of chocolate bars at different price points, and customers can either pick their flavors or have Nicole pick them for them in a special collection. One of Nicole's many talents is her impeccable taste in chocolate, and she knows how to keep customers happy with her delicious chocolate bars. She never sells anything that she has not tried and tested herself, so she knows that all of her chocolate bars are high quality, delicious, and made with ethically sourced materials.
On her website, https://worldtreechocolate.ca/, Nicole sells her books, paintings, and, of course, chocolate! She has a variety of options and flavors to choose from, and everything from World Tree Chocolate is carefully sourced and selected to provide the best experience for customers everywhere.
Nicole's story is an impactful one. She combined two passions that seemed very different; after all, what do chocolate and painting have in common? Hewat found an answer and created something new and original with her cocoa butter paints, and she now gets to do what she loves.