NEWBURYPORT — Anna Jaques Hospital Cancer Survivors Day will be extra sweet this year thanks to the generosity of two local business owners. Chocolatier Michael Nichols, founder of m cacao Chocolates in Amesbury, and Julie King, of Samarra Sacred Spaces in West Newbury, have teamed up to create a unique edible gift for cancer survivors and healthcare workers. Survivors and healthcare workers will be honored on a National Cancer Survivor Appreciation Day, which this year falls on Sunday, June 5. In Newburyport, recognition gifts will be distributed on Monday, June 6.
With herbs and flowers from the sacred spaces of Samarra, King concocted a tea that Chef Delphin Gomes, Pastry Master at m cacao, infused into his chocolate to create a one-of-a-kind edible “Healing Book.” The book cover even includes an edible version of m. cocoa sun logo, made from 100% chocolate. The two companies are donating 50 boxes of the “Book of Healing” to survivors and their hospital team in honor of Survivorship Day. WHEN
Originally trained as a robotics engineer, Nichols discovered a passion for the art of chocolate making after visiting a candy factory while vacationing with his family in Peru. Upon their return, he enrolled in culinary school where he met Delphin, originally from Burgundy, France, who had been working in the pastry field since his teenage years. It was, as they say, “the beginning of a beautiful friendship”. For the two culinary partners, chocolate is not so much an enjoyable confection as a canvas for exploration and innovation. They call what they create “chocolate for the culinary curious”. The public is invited to stop by the boutique, located at 6 Chestnut Street, to observe the creative process in action. Every week it’s “Free Chocolate Fridays” at m. cocoa from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. where the team deploys new creations and seasonal specials. “It’s a party here on Fridays,” the website reads. Learn more at: https://mcacao.com
Meanwhile, King, who describes herself as a “herbalist, alchemist, healer, and medicine mom,” works with her clients to create their own sacred spaces in which to heal, be inspired, and have fun. Its small batches of nourishing products are intentionally created using organic and local ingredients. From its herbal teas and ritual kits to healing tinctures and potions for pets, Samarra Sacred Spaces is a community-focused company that harnesses both ancient teachings and contemporary methods to help people on their journey to research. with a deeper meaning and more joy. Learn more at: https://samarrasacredspaces.com
Innovative and joyful are words that aptly describe the gift these two small businesses have created for attendees of the local Cancer Survivorship Celebration this year. Since 1988, the first Sunday in June has been designated National Cancer Survivor Day, a time when cities and towns across the country celebrate cancer survivors; support and inspire those newly diagnosed; and honor those who have lost their battle.
The Anna Jaques Hospital Cancer Center and its survivorship program help cancer patients and their families physically, emotionally, psychologically and financially. To learn more about the different ways to support his mission, visit https://www.ajh.org/giving.