Crafted: Cactus Creek Gourmet Coffee Roasters & My Sweet Handcrafted Chocolates

by Abegail Murphy 

With all of this talk about new-fangled technology, it’s nice to remember that some of the best treats are the most traditional, the simplest in form and the ones we’ve loved the longest. When we pair them together, the possibilities are endless, which is what local coffee roaster Cactus Creek does in providing locally-roasted and brewed coffee with handmade chocolates from My Sweet Handcrafted Chocolates. ONC’s Abegail Murphy explores both the strong and the sweet sides of one of life’s best combinations. 

Cactus Creek Gourmet Coffee Roasters was established in July of 2004 by a group of retired Special Forces Army veterans with a taste for good coffee and good company. One of these founders, Mike Birky, can still be found at the brick-and-mortar location in Aberdeen, where he works day in and day out with his crew to ensure top-quality care for every client who walks through the door. 

Today, Cactus Creek offers over fifty-five different flavors of coffee, twenty-five varieties, and an extensive selection of unique house and proprietary blends. Though there are definitely some seasonal favorites—namely “Pumpkin Spice” in the fall and “White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle” in the winter—these seasonal treats are available year round, which is something that cannot be found at most (if any!) other coffee retailers. If you find yourself longing for Pumpkin Spice in April or a Candy Cane blend in July, Cactus Creek has your craving covered.

Never heard of Cactus Creek Coffee before? If you’ve made a stop at a local coffee shop, there’s a good chance you’ve already had it! Cactus Creek supplies coffee to around eighty percent of local coffee shops in the Sandhills region thanks to their exotic blends, selection of organic products, and loyalty to both their customers and the community. 

“Our customers know us,” said owner and founding member Mike Birky. “We make sure we can provide to our clients. We want the community to flourish and grow. We’re there every step of the way.” 

Swing by Cactus Creek Coffee and pick up a custom blend, gift card, or customizable gift basket for your most beloved coffee fanatic. Gift baskets can be customized to include coffee products, home products, and melt-in-your-mouth chocolate products from My Sweet Handcrafted Chocolates. 

Carole Soxman, owner and sole chocolatier of My Sweet Handcrafted Chocolates, took her first chocolatiering class four decades ago. Her passion for the craft was immediate. Over the years, Carole has refined her hobby into an expertise, motivating her to open a prosperous business right here in the Sandhills. Now, My Sweet Handcrafted Chocolates provides clients with a one-of-a-kind assortment of delectable treats year round. Combining unique flavors, creative shapes and custom packaging adds up to the recipe for the perfect candy company.  

Custom orders and special requests are no challenge for this chocolatier. Carole uses an extensive selection of toppings and fillings — nuts, nut butters, dried fruits, fruit purees,  caramel, toffee and coffee…you name it, she has it — for any customized order that comes her way. Though Carole creates bonbons, barks, Sweetie Pies, and bars of all flavors, the fan favorite has remained her homemade Espresso Bark for quite some time. Fans of her coffee flavored delicacies can even find her candy supplied in Cactus Creek Coffee gift baskets, created in a custom made Cactus Creek logo mold. In addition to Cactus Creek, My Sweet Handcrafted Chocolates is sold in more than a dozen retail locations throughout the state, with a full list available on the official website, making it easy to pick up or order a box or bag of some of the finest gourmet chocolate North Carolina has to offer.

To find out more about Cactus Creek Coffee, visit their website at or find them on social media. For more information on My Sweet Handcrafted Chocolates, log on to Carole’s website at or find My Sweet Handcrafted Chocolates on Facebook.