Nama Kiss was initially started in 2008 by sisters Angi and Andi Wolfgang during their 6-year stint in Tokyo, Japan.
They dreamed of creating a healthy, dairy-free confection that was as creamy and intoxicating as chocolate should be! They worked tirelessly and gladly ate obscene amounts of cacao all in the name of honing their chocolate recipes and growing their small business.
As a compliment to Nama Kiss, they started Lucina, a healthy events company. From 2008-2009, the sisters held dozens of potlucks, parties, exercise classes, and recipe classes as a way of educating people about making healthy lifestyle choices. Through their expanding social network, the opportunity arose for them to open Manna Raw Vegan Restaurant, the second raw vegan establishment in Tokyo. Opening Manna gave Angi and Andi a venue for selling their NK desserts, while also giving them experience combining veggies, fruits, and nuts into delicious savory delicacies. Manna started in Yoyogi Koen in a beautiful condo overlooking Tokyo’s main park. The condo’s large commercial kitchen, often used for commercial photo shoots, became Manna’s home base. After 6 successful months, the restaurant moved across town to Daikanyama to a cafe-style space on a trendy shopping street with more seating, which also meant more staff. This gave Angi and Andi the freedom to step away from making main dishes and focus their attention on their favorite plant: the cacao bean. The bakery case suddenly overflowed with pies, truffles, cookies, fudge, and cupcake truffles! In 2011, the time came for Angi and Andi to return to the US, and Manna closed its doors. Nama Kiss Japan closed in 2014 after several years of fulfilling private orders.
Angi and Andi relocated to Raleigh, North Carolina, where they quickly got busy restarting Nama Kiss. While the sisters no longer followed a raw vegan diet, they were still passionate about offering healthier alternatives to standard sweets. From 2011-2013, Nama Kiss products were sold in various shops throughout Cary and Raleigh, at farmer’s markets, and online. In 2013, when Angi was working full time as a music teacher and Andi was neck deep in graduate school pre-requisites, they decided to give up their sweet side job and focus on other life goals.
Fast forward a few years to 2016…Andi moved to Boston, MA, graduated from Tufts University with her Master’s in Nutrition Science and Policy, and suddenly felt Nama Kiss pulling on her heart strings. With Angi’s encouragement, Andi restarted the company for a 3rd time with every intention of keeping it alive this time around.
Andi is working hard to supply the city of Boston with delicious, health-conscious desserts as a feel-good replacement to standard sweets. Andi produces Nama Kiss out of The Local Fare, a small shop located in Arlington, MA that offers locally made items from MA businesses. When Andi isn’t in the cacao kitchen, you can find her baking up a storm in her home kitchen, taking an exercise class, or drinking an almond mocha latte at one of the many coffee shops in the city.
Angi continues to live in Raleigh, NC, where she works as a music teacher and spends every spare minute with her family, when she isn’t shopping 😉