Birth of a Chocolate Fiend

I wasn't always a chocolate fiend. I didn't always dream of somehow making a career out of chocolate. I didn't even eat chocolate very often. This is the long-winded story of my transformation from a random geek to a random geek with dreams and ambitions centered firmly around chocolate.

Humble Beginnings

While I have always been fond of chocolate I was never really what you would call "obsessed" until a few years ago. I have always favored sweet and sour candies over chocolate. If it was crunchy and made primarily of sugar that was my thing. Any burning heat or mouth-twisting sourness was a bonus. Chocolate was fine in Cherry Cordials, Kit Kats and York Peppermint Patties, but was primarily used on top of ice cream or in fudge.

Blame Food Network

The transition from SweeTarts to chocolate was an unusual one and came as a surprise to me. I actually owe my love of chocolate to Food Network. The TV was on and I was browsing the web and a show came on about chocolate. The idea of a high-end chocolatier was utterly foreign to me, just as foreign as the idea of high-end chocolate. The show was my first introduction to the larger world of chocolate and introduced me to truffles for the first time. I was due to head to Pittsburgh in a couple of weeks and the show had features Betsy Anne Chocolates so I quickly checked and there just happened to be one in the mall right where I was going. I bought an assortment of truffles and took them into the office on Monday.

It Were The Raspberries What Done Me In

It was the raspberry truffle that did me in. And I was very much against raspberry as it was in everything in every restaurant everywhere at the time. The raspberry trend didn't sit well with me (mainly because I was sick to death of raspberry vinaigrette) and I was prepared to hate the truffle. What I found when I tasted it was something utterly unlike anything I had ever experienced before. The flavor was intense in both chocolate and raspberry and there was a balance to them and an incredible richness that I had never found in the candy bars I had eaten up until then.

Addiction Can Be Fun

I was hooked. I went to Godiva that week to see what their truffles were like and quickly tore through their entire selection of what was available in Ohio. When I got up to visit my sister in Chicago I got to try their liqueur truffles and my love grew. I was convinced that the ultimate expression of chocolate art was the truffle and I wanted to make them. I was more than a little shocked to find that I could make better truffles than Godiva and that I loved sharing them and the seed of an idea took root.

Chocolate Ambitions

A long term goal was set: to open my own chocolatier. One with the highest quality chocolate but more approachable than the fancy shmancy look of a Godiva store. The entire thing would be centered around the truffles.
It didn't take long for that idea to change. Radically.

In the Name of Love

The first thing to happen to change the vision was a trip to Wild Oats. Up until then I was strictly about truffles and the occasional cordial. But they had a brand of chocolate bar I had never seen and one of the varieties was Strong Dark Chocolate which suited my mood. So I picked up my first Chocolove bar and discovered that I had once again missed the boat on chocolate. There was more to the world of fine chocolate than truffles.

A Spoonful of Ignorance

I decided that it was time for a little education. I set out to try more chocolate and learn more about chocolate and I quickly found that there was more variety than I could have ever dreamed. I started cooking with higher quality chocolates and found how much better things were when you used better ingredients. And the vision changed and now my chocolatier was a chocolatier and cafe.

Birth of a Blog

I nabbed a domain name with the hopes of opening a store by that name and soon found that there was already somebody with that same name sitting at .net variety of domain while I was sitting on the .com one. Opening a store and website using the same name as them would be a mite rude to my way of thinking and legally dubious to boot so I ditched the name and came up with a new one and decided that I would use my now defunct domain name to open a blog. As I continued my chocolate education I would post what I found along the way. Chocolate is about sharing and if I was going to be eating all this wonderful chocolate I could at least share my thoughts since I couldn't share the chocolate itself.

Now I Shall Inflict My Ignorance Upon You

As I began to blog I found it hard to find all of the wonderful chocolates I wanted and the most recent change to the vision arrived. I decided that I would sell not only my own product, but all of the fine chocolates that I was having so much trouble finding elsewhere. And that is where the dream sits for now. I have set myself a deadline that I will hopefully make and am continuing to educate myself on chocolate and baking and slowly preparing for the day when I finally open the doors to my dream.