Trappistine Chocolate and Trappist Beer

Holy Beer And Chocolate!  Trappistine Chocolate and Trappist Beer, that Is!


That’s why the nuns of St. Mary’s here in Wrentham and their brothers at St. Joseph in Spencer joined efforts to produce a beer and chocolate gift set for this holiday season.

The limited offer will appear next week, on the shelves of select craft beer stores in Massachusetts; an attractive 750 ml bottle of Spencer Trappist Ale, crowned with a package of Trappistine Dark Pairing Chocolates. Yum!

Trappist monks and nuns, who live by the rule of St. Benedict, are directed by that rule to “live by the work of their hands”. Each community has its own business with which it supports its life of prayer. Here in Massachusetts, it’s the sisters of Mount Saint Mary’s Abbey with their handcrafted candies. In Spencer, it’s the monks of St. Joseph’s Abbey, long known for their Trappist Preserves, who are now producing the first Belgian-style Trappist Ale ever to be produced on US soil. And there are more flavors on the way.

While the Trappist monks and their sisters across the country have long touted and supported one another’s products, they saw this as a unique opportunity to come together and create a pairing of their specialties.

“The dark chocolates pair well with the Spencer Trappist Ale – and we anticipate they’ll be even better with the Trappist Imperial Stout – planned for release in January,” commented marketing director Mary Jo Finkenstaedt of Trappistine Quality Candy.

“We are pleased to be able to pair our chocolates with the traditional ales for which the Trappists are so well-known in Europe. We hope to increase consumer awareness of our inter-connection, and the long history of the order’s dedication to quality and value that is synonymous with anything Trappist.”

In the meantime, the monks will release a special brew for the holidays – Trappist Holiday Ale. Look for it, too, at your local craft beer stores.

Trappist products are invariably top-rate, made with the highest quality ingredients, and with the highest ethical and production standards, as this is part of the credo by which they live. Therefore, their products are delicious, but what’s more, their prices are moderate, as the Benedictine Rule also guides them to charge a little less than the competition.

Because the Trappists are in business solely to support their austere life of prayer, their profit margins are not bloated by ever-rising goals for growth. Therefore they can afford to continue to use pure, high- quality ingredients while keeping prices under control.

While other chocolate companies were forced to increase their prices last year, sometimes to the tune of 8% across the board, Trappistine Quality Candy has been able to keep their increases moderate.

Yes, they are still affected by rising costs of ingredients, and transportation costs. And, since their work hours are strictly limited, in order to keep their focus on prayer and their cloistered life of prayer, the sisters will never be able to enjoy the economies of scale that come with extended working hours and an elastic workforce.

Nonetheless, their products are offered at competitive prices, even though their quality easily surpasses that of their competition.

The sisters’ Candy Council, which steers the candy making business, is devising ways that the business can survive the increasing costs of transportation, ingredients, and utilities, and the limitations that come with static workforce hours.

Utilization of their land for renewable energy has helped them defray increasing costs.

In addition, with the help of their Marketing Director, Mary Jo Finkenstaedt and outside consultant Chip Strapp, the sisters are building a wholesale network for their candy. You can now find their candy at select Whole Foods Markets, Roche Brothers, and a number of gift shops in the area, including With Heart and Hand in Norfolk and Terrazza in Franklin and Wellesley.

In celebration of their 60th year of candy making, the sisters enhanced the look of their packaging last year to make it more suitable for gift-giving. Today’s candy comes in pearlized boxes, tastefully adorned with a colorful new logo reminiscent of illuminated script, and a beautiful fabric grosgrain ribbon.

Corporations looking for gift items for their vendors, clients, and employees now have a variety of attractive options to choose from – whether it be a single box, or a beautifully arranged combination of products.    Individuals, churches, and organizations who have long purchased Trappistine candy by the case now will receive the candy in the new pearlized packaging which has a gift-wrapped appearance and is ready-to-give. And if they want the bow for a finishing touch, they can purchase the boxes with the ribbon already applied.

“We spent a little more on the ribbons – they are custom-made fabric, grosgrain ribbons, hand-tied and sewn with bows – because we want to reflect the quality of the product inside, and also provide our customers with a ready-to-give gift. We hope that everyone will appreciate our beautiful new package design, and share it as is – or adorned with one of our ribbons,” added Finkenstaedt.

The sisters are also supporting a year-round promotion of their products. While Trappistine Quality Candy has long been a traditional gift for Christmas and Thanksgiving, the sisters are looking for new ways to package their products and for new products, so that customers will purchase them throughout the year – whether for traditional holidays like Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, or for birthdays and anniversaries.

“Candy is a gift for all occasions, and we want to remind the public year-round that it would give us great joy to be part of their celebrations.   Year-round sales will also help the sisters to maintain the balance between work and prayer that is characteristic of their life,” commented Chip Strapp, an independent consultant who is helping the sisters with growing the business.

“We hope you’ll stop by our gift shop this fall/holiday season. We are opening the gift shop on Sundays from 2-4 between now and Christmas for your convenience.

Think of us when you stop by the Big Apple. We’re just a short way up the road and can offer a sweet finish to your visit,” adds Mother Maureen, Abbess.

Stop by our Chapel for some quiet reflection, or participate in our liturgy of the hours. All are welcome!

Trappistine Fundraising


This local Youth Faith Formation group chose Trappistine candy for their fundraising efforts to pay for their upcoming mission trip to Puerto Rico.

The teens sold Trappistine Chocolates, Fudge, Butter Nut Munch, and Easter Bunny Pops after all masses on Palm Sunday, and after the Saturday mass, at St. Mary’s in Wrentham, and St. Martha’s in Plainville, despite falling snowflakes and colder than usual temps.

IMG_2829“The candy just flew off the tables!” said Bob Collins, Director of Youth Faith Formation at St. Mary’s Parish.  “We had to go back to the abbey on Saturday night to pick up more cases for Sunday!”

The youth group is raising funds for their upcoming mission trip to Puerto Rico, where the students will volunteer at an orphanage and a men’s and women’s shelter, and will also participate in home repair projects.

Trappistine Candy – a wonderful way to make good things happen!  Stay tuned for more details about the mission trip!






Taco Inc.: Making Happy, Healthy Hearts



Our signature Butter Nut Munch helped Taco Inc., of Cranston, RI raise more funds for the American Heart Association.  As part of their Wear Red for Women’s Heart Health Awareness fund raising efforts, Taco Inc. offered employees who donated $10.00 or more a free box of our signature Butter Nut Munch!

What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than to support healthy hearts!

“We are pleased to have been part of Taco Inc’s fundraising efforts for the American Heart Association,” said spokesperson and Marketing Director Mary Jo Finkenstaedt.  “The Sisters of Mount Saint Mary’s Abbey share and esteem the commitment of the management and employees of Taco Inc. to charity and health/wholeness, as well as their dedication to sustainability.”

A special thank you to John Hazen White Jr., President of family owned Taco Inc., and his staff, notably Michele Verduchi, who arranged for our Butter Nut Munch to be part of the program!

We hope we made your Valentine’s Day sweeter!!!  Happy Valentine’s Day to all –

Harmony House of Western MA – Building A Dream with Love and Prayers

Ruth Willemain, age 79, of Harmony House of Western Massachusetts  would have loaded all 70 cases of our candy into her van, if we had let her!  She’s a woman with a dream and a plan.  And she won’t let anything stand in her way.

Ruth, a Holyoke resident, and her friend, Jeanne St. Pierre, 82, of Chicopee, MA, took delivery of over $7,000 worth of Butter Nut Munch, Chocolate Squares, and Chocolate Almond Squares (Bark), Fudge and Penuche from our loading dock here in Wrentham.

Their dream: Harmony House of Western Massachusetts – a loving home where people living their final days will find love, peace and comfort.

And their plan: to continue with their fund raising efforts until they are able to purchase and staff that home – and build a lasting structure of support around it. Selling Trappistine Quality Candy has been part of their fund-raising efforts from the start.

And the Sisters of Mount St. Marys Abbey are delighted that the work of their hands and their prayer is going out to do more good.

Ruth, after 45 years of teaching, went into hospice and nursing home care. A friend of her sister’s was a resident at a similar home for the terminally ill, in Cleveland, OH – Malachi House of Hope – and they paid a visit.

“I walked through the doors and I was enveloped by love,” Ruth shared. “This was not an ordinary place.  I immediately wanted to spread this ministry by founding a similar home in my area.”

“Malachi House has been operating for 26 years, and has never taken a cent from its residents,” adds Willemain. “We hope to be able to do the same.”

Ruth and Jeanne decided on using Trappistine Quality Candy for their fund raising after a visit to St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, MA – a community of Trappist monks who are “brothers” to the Trappistines of Trappistine Quality Candy.    The monks touted the candy as the best around, and a customer in the shop echoed that sentiment.   It was affordable, made with all natural ingredients, and best of all, “Made with Love and Prayers”. Ruth was sold!

This fall, they are scheduled to sell the candy at several churches and Christmas Bazaars in the Holyoke area. They have seven venues scheduled every weekend between November 8th and December 14th in Westfield, Ludlow, Chicopee, South Hadley, and Holyoke (see list of addresses and times below.) The candy is even selling at the beauty salon that Ruth frequents – she shared it there once, and the clients all loved it so much that the owner decided to start selling it himself!

They never stop giving. At the ages of 79 and 82, long after retirement age, they work tirelessly to build the foundation under their dream.

“We’re fortunate enough that God has left us on this earth for this long,” Ruth adds, “so we want to continue to find ways to serve Him.”

If you’d like to support Harmony House of Western Massachusetts, and you can’t visit one of their fundraisers this Christmas season, please visit their web site or you can call Ruth at 413-534-0704 or Jeanne at 413-592-7889.  They continue to raise funds toward their goal of $800,000. They are looking for Volunteers, Board Members, and Advisory Board members, and anyone who might like to contribute goods for the fund raisers, or property for the home.

Scheduled Venues are listed below, and published on their web site.

The candy is also available at:

Cosmo Cut and Style Beauty Salon, 1890 Memorial Dr.  Chicopee, MA   01020



Nov 8th 9-3


Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Parish Center

127 Holyoke Rd.

Westfield, MA



Nov 15-16

St. Elizabeth Parish

121 Hubbard St.

Ludlow, MA

After 4:00 Mass on the 15th

And on the 16th after the 7:30, 9:15, 11:00 and 5:00 p.m. Masses


Nov 22-23

Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Parish Center

127 Holyoke Rd.

Westfield, MA

After the 4:00 p.m. Mass on the 22nd

After the 7:00, 8:30, and 11:00 Masses on Sunday the 23rd


Nov 29th 9-2

Christmas in November Craft Fair

St. Patrick’s Social Center

Main and School St.

South Hadley, MA



Dec 6 9-3

The Arbors Holiday Craft Fair

929 Memorial Dr.

Chicopee, MA


Dec 6-7

Our Lady of the Cross

Sycamore St.

Holyoke, MA

After the 4:00 p.m. Mass on Saturday

After the 7:30, 9:00 and 10:30 masses on Sunday


December 13-14

St. Jerome Parish

Hampden St.

Holyoke, MA

After the 4:00 p.m. Mass on Saturday

After the 8:00 and 10:30 Masses on Sunday

Trappistine – Supporting Local Businesses

New Candy Building
New Candy Building – funded by a soft fund raising campaign – completed in 2011.

Trappistine – Supporting Local Businesses since 1956

What does it mean to be socially responsible, and to support local businesses? The Nuns of Mount Saint Mary’s Abbey, makers of the renowned Butter Nut Munch, Chocolates, Bark, and Fudge/Penuche, are a good community to ask.

Their business, Trappistine Quality Candy, while not a large operation, has survived and thrived over the years, mainly for a few good reasons.

First and foremost they produce a quality product, with only high-quality, natural ingredients, in a first-rate production facility for which they raised the funds themselves. And their work ethics are meticulous.

Anyone who has ever bitten up to their Butter Nut Munch can attest to the abundance of hazelnuts. In the factory, each piece of Munch is examined before it goes into the box to make sure it holds the maximum pieces of hazelnuts. If not, back it goes for hand-application of more!

And while competitors are using “artificial” flavoring in their chocolate, and chocolate made from cocoa powder and vegetable oil, Trappistine chocolates are pure, produced from ground cocoa nibs – and you can taste the difference! This means the cost of making their chocolates is higher than their competitors. Still, the sisters wouldn’t dream of producing anything less than a pure, wholly good, natural product for you, their customers.

Second, the sisters are good neighbors, and they support local businesses.

The story of cities like Detroit, MI, speaks volumes about the necessity of supporting local businesses. Having lost 50% of its population with the the loss of manufacturing and auto industry-related jobs, Detroit today finds itself in bankruptcy and with a glut of empty homes that no longer hold any value. There is no market for houses, because there are no jobs. Where there once were thriving neighborhoods, you’ll find overgrown empty lots and boarded up houses.

While many companies worldwide are looking to outsource labor and source their supplies from China and other economies where costs are lower, the sisters strive to choose local vendors.    Their current candy box vendor, Fuller Box, with manufacturing facilities in Central Falls, RI, is a good example.   Having prospered with the Providence jewelry industry, Fuller saw their share of change in business when that industry started manufacturing overseas.   Being a tenacious and quality manufacturer themselves, Fuller retains a healthy jewelry packaging business, yet has diversified with local companies like Trappistine Quality Candy. This in turn helps them support their Central Falls workforce and their families, in turn protecting the health of the local economy.

Sr. Sofia- Peter- Graham
Sr. Sofia, head of Candy Production, gives Peter and Graham Fuller of Fuller Box a factory tour.

Third, the sisters’ work is a form of prayer, and they work tirelessly not only to bring you the best quality, but at the best price they can. This is part of the Rule of St. Benedict, by which their lives are governed. They are in business to support their life, not to maximize profits.  They don’t like to raise prices.

While companies like Hershey’s are announcing an 8% increase across the board on their products, due to the rising cost of chocolate (some companies report a 20% increase in the price of chocolate this year), Trappistine is striving to hold firm, and keep increases to a minimum.

Finally, the sisters are committed to green energy, and once again, this commitment benefits their neighbors. Last year, the sisters celebrated the completion of a solar field installation on their property. They determined that this initiative would serve the the Rule of St. Benedict that requires them to be good stewards of their natural resources.

Not only does it make them good stewards, it is helping the Town of Franklin to meet their own clean energy goals.  The solar field supplies the town with a good portion of the electricity needed to power their public buildings.

And if that’s not good enough, the sisters also invested their hard earned pennies in a wind turbine – which offsets the cost of powering the Abbey and feeds the local “grid”.   And they implemented a geothermal system which reduces heating and cooling costs of their candy production facility, further protecting the local environment.

Finally, the sisters support the local poor and the needy, in both times of abundance and in times of need.

So, next time you bite into a piece of Trappistine candy, you can feel exponentially good about it supporting this local business.   Your choice helps support a number of local companies and their employees and families, feeds and clothes the poor locally, and supports green energy.   And, not least of all, it supports a lovely community of hard-working, joy-filled sisters whose life is all about spreading goodness and joy.

As for the flavor of Trappistine Quality Candy- every bite speaks volumes!

We hope you will share it with your clients and loved ones to add joy to Birthdays, Anniversaries, and Holidays throughout the year.






Trappistine_MunchDark Clr Backgd

Trappistine.  Enduring the test of time.  Pure.  Wholesome.  Unadulterated.  Infused with Love and Prayer.

These words symbolize not only the lives lived by those in our order, but also, our candy. This fruit of our labor, work of our hands, financially sustains our life of prayer, spirituality, and simplicity, and it, too is infused with our love and prayer.  It is part of the Trappistine tradition – one that has endured and thrived since 1098.

That’s why, when we set to re-design our packaging, we selected simply the word “Trappistine” to appear on the label of all of our products.  Pure and simple, “Trappistine” says it all!

We chose the “T” with the vine around it for two reasons:  one, because it is reminiscent of biblical script from the days when monks used to transcribe the bible, using decorative calligraphy for the first letter of the first word of each chapter.

Second, it symbolizes our commitment to preserving natural resources – and respect for our environment.  We host three forms of renewable energy on our land, and live simply, avoiding waste, and recycling and composting.

Most importantly, we realize that our customers often give our candy as a gift, so we wanted to make the packaging and labeling as beautiful as your intention, and ready-to-give.

You will begin to see this new label on all of our products next year, and for this season, we are able to offer it on our new Trappistine Trio combination offering – three flavors of our candy, ready to give, and tied with a bow!

We at Trappistine Quality Candy invite you to share in the fruits of our labor.   It gives us joy to serve you -with Love and Prayers.

The Sisters of Mount Saint Mary’s Abbey


Our customers have told us that you can TASTE the goodness in our candy.

Made with only pure and natural ingredients, without preservatives, our candy not only tastes good, but its high quality ingredients make it a healthier choice as well.












Ora Labora



Ora and Labora:  Prayer and Work.   That is the meaning behind this beautiful life-sized cross that now hangs in the Candy Production area, where the delicious chocolates you know and love – are produced.

Created by a Trappist Monk from the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, GA, this work of art was many months in the making.  Brother Hugh Vannesse, artist, and monk, was commissioned to do this work by the sisters.  Having struggled with reconciling the two sides of himself – a man dedicated to God through the religious life, and an artist, this work served to integrate him as a person.

This Cistercian Monastery, governed by Benedictine rule, must have a cross in every room of the building.  This beautiful cross, the largest one in the monastery, will surely inspire the sisters as they work in the facility – making delicious candy – with Love and Prayers.


Trappistine Tea and Chocolate Pairing Guide

Looking for a  “pick-me up” on an early spring afternoon?   Tea and Chocolate pairing  provides a warm caffeine boost, while also boosting your daily intake of flavenoids and antioxidants.

It’s good for you, and, even better, it tastes so good!


You’ll find a lot of obvious matches.  For instance, Chai (generally a sweet tea with steamed milk) is often recommended with milk chocolate.  And, citrus flavored teas pair well with citrus flavored chocolates.

You’re also bound to find some  teas  you’ve never tried before pair well with your favorite chocolates.  So, try them.  And, don’t be limited by what others have already tried and recommended.  We know what your favorite chocolates are!   So, what’s your cup of tea?   Experiment a little, and you’re bound to find some new pairings that work well for you.

We have put together our own Trappistine Chocolate and Tea Pairings Guide to help you get off to a running start.  You’ll find our Trappistine Chocolates are packaged in quantities that will support tea pairing parties, so plan a winter warm up with your friends!

And, let us know what you discover so we can share it with your fellow tea enthusiasts!  Feel free to e-mail your feedback about our pairing guide, and your own discoveries to:  Include a photo, and we’ll share them on Facebook.

So, get to it!  It’s time for a winter warm-up!

And, don’t forget to  share the warmth with us.    Watch for more on tea and chocolate pairings on Facebook and in our monthly newsletter.

Chocolate and Tea Pairings

Spencer Trappist Ale and Trappistine Chocolates Pair Well!

bottleglass  photo1

Just an hour away from the sisters of Mount St. Mary’s Abbey, their Trappist brothers of St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, MA are celebrating a new first. Spencer Trappist Ale.  The first certified Trappist Beer in the U.S.

And we expect they will pair well with Trappistine chocolates.   We recommend pairing a glass of the new ale with our Trappistine Dark Chocolate Squares.  (See links below for other pairing hints and tips.)

Following the Cistercian/Benedictine rule, the monks, like their sisters here at Mount St. Marys Abbey, are committed to preserving the natural.   Not surprisingly, then,  Trappist Ale is made with only four natural ingredients:  water, hops, barley, and yeast.  It is unpasteurized and unfiltered, which enhances the flavor and aroma of the beer.

And, like their sisters at Mount St. Mary’s abbey, the monks at Spencer, MA are also committed to renewable energy. Read more about the monks and their beer at

Help us celebrate the work of our Trappist brothers’ hands:  enjoy a glass of Spencer Trappist Ale with some of our chocolates today.

Ask your local purveyor of beers how you can purchase some of the first production of Spencer Trappist Ale.  And, our chocolates are just a click away.  Enjoy!

Gave Up Chocolate? Break that Resolution!

If removing chocolate from your diet was part of your New Year’s resolution, then maybe it’s time to break it – for your own good!

Dark Chocolate has often been touted in health magazines as a powerful antioxidant, and also gives you the benefits of improved brain activity and blood flow, and may help reduce blood pressure.

Two of the most surprising findings about dark chocolate are that it helps prevent Type II Diabetes, and tooth decay.  (But not too much sweet/milk chocolate.  It still contains sugar, which is bad for both your teeth and blood sugar levels.)


It’s the flavonols in chocolate that help prevent insulin resistance, which is associated with Type II Diabetes.  Flavenols are also found in vegetables, such as celery, parsley and thyme, and fruits like apricots, apples, and grapes, as well as red wine and tea leaves.

But chocolate has the highest concentration of flavenols of all these foods.

Another study done at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden found that cacao, the bean from which chocolate is made, is found to be a “defense shield” against strokes, because of its positive impact on the cardiovascular system.  A ten year study showed that subjects who ate the most chocolate were 17% less likely to suffer a stroke.  The study’s researchers attributed this to the anti-clotting and anti-inflammatory properties of chocolate.  It is also possible, they said, that the flavonoids in chocolate may decrease blood concentrations of bad cholesterol and reduce blood pressure.

What’s more, dark chocolate is found to be a mood booster.  Its is purported to increase levels of endorphins (natural opiates) produced by the brain as well as serotonin, a mood-boosting substance also produced by the brain. Increasing serotonin production in the digestive tract may also boost your immune system .

And, the higher the percentage chocolate (the darker the chocolate), the better.   Dark chocolate is made with less sugar, and has a higher concentration of pure chocolate, which contains all the beneficial substances.

But don’t overdo it – the recommended daily intake of dark chocolate is one ounce per day.  So, update that resolution, and add some chocolate to your shopping cart today.

Try our Dark Chocolate Squares, Almond Bark, or a Dark Chocolate rose today. It’s a delicious way to improve your health!