When I started Chocolats Passion 10 years ago, it was a true passion project, a little endeavor to nurture when I retired from my career as a landscape designer. I was also coming full circle because chocolate/nuts/caramel had always been my passion as a little kid growing up in France. I never stopped making things with chocolate, gifting my holiday production to family, friends and clients.
Ever the autodidact, I taught myself tempering/molding/applying color to molds, until I recognized my limitations and enrolled at Ecole Chocolat over a two-year period, to get real training. I was now ready to turn pro!
2014 to 2017, in Belmont, MA, was modest: I participated in a few markets between the holidays and Mother's day, and had an online presence. It was our family's move to Portland in 2017 that provided the perfect pivot point. After 6 months at the Fork Food Lab, and the hiring of my first co-chocolatier, Darcy, our 550 s.f. shop and production space at 189 Brackett Street came into being.
Our first collection of chocolates totaled seven varieties, along with our Critters, Baby Bars and our Hazelnut Crème. We had French confections to complement the rather paltry offerings. But it didn't seem to matter, our West End community embraced us warmly and immediately, and we were on our way.
I have been doing a lot of reminiscing about those early days, marveling at the organic growth of our little enterprise with the addition of kind, talented co-workers, and the recent opportunity to move into a much bigger space. Between 2018 and today, we are now six on our team. And we are newly ensconced in the shop and production facility of our dreams at 175 Spring Street.
And now, we are about to strengthen Chocolats Passion for the future! We are on the cusp of a new, exciting phase for my beloved little passion project. Please tune in tomorrow!