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Posted January 17, 2014 at 11:45 p.m., updated January 17, 2014 at 11:45 p.m.

Maintaining their “no compromises” stance, Love Bites Raw Confections’ chocolates were created with the purpose to use the highest quality ingredients and to educate people about the benefits of whole foods. Free from chemicals, preservatives and refined sugars this unique treat doesn’t discriminate.

After working at a local health food store in Thousand Oaks, creator, Merissa Marcuccella developed an interest in the power and healing qualities of raw and nutritious foods.


I became very knowledgeable about the healing power of foods in general, and began my quest of educating people about the differences between processed and natural foods,” she said.

Today, many people struggle with diabetes, gluten allergies and food-related illnesses and Marcuccella wanted to create something everyone could enjoy.

As a single mother juggling multiple jobs and overwhelmed by the thought of starting up her own business, she was suggested to look into Women’s Economic Ventures for guidance.

WEV’s 14-week Self-Employment Training classes provided Marcuccella with key elements that go into starting up a small business. With support from her peers, teachers and advisors she became more comfortable with the idea of becoming an entrepreneur.

“It is truly amazing what these lovely ladies provide for us. I have come away from this feeling strong and having that passion, repeating silently to myself the mantra to ‘never give up or get discouraged,’” said Marcuccella.

From organizing and financing to marketing and managing, WEV’s SET program provides new entrepreneurs with the steps necessary to start one’s business from the ground up.

Marcuccella’s Love Bites Raw Confections has launched this month into the Agoura Hills Farmer’s Market and is also available through phone orders. More information at or call 805-377-5694.

Marcucella also enjoys teaching yoga, and is a nature enthusiast and hike guide in Malibu.

“For prospective WEV clients looking to achieve their dreams, I say GO FOR IT. Do not let anyone or anything hold you back…,” Marcuccella said. “We dream for a reason, its not all fluff and fantasy. There is nothing more exciting, empowering, exhilarating, and sometimes intense- as being an entrepreneur!”

About Women’s Economic Ventures Self-Employment Training:

(SET) is a 14-week course providing week-by-week training in the most important aspects of organizing, financing, marketing and managing a small business. Participants leave the course with a compete business plan including a business description, marketing plan, cash flow projections, operations plan and a core network to help sustain the business. The next SET course begins in February and attendance of a free one-hour orientation is required to register for the course.

The final orientation in VenturaCounty takes place: Tuesday, January 21st, 12-1 p.m. in Ventura.

For more information on WEV’s upcoming programs, visit or call (805) 667-8004.  


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