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.