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Smiling Faces for Homemade Chocolates

By November 7, 2008The Chocolate Experience

A look from the other side of the table

I’ve always enjoyed going to markets and festivals. I like talking with vendors and learning about what they make or how they grow things. I get excited hearing about family traditions that are being passed on and how some are modernized but stay true to the original concept. I never really thought, however, that our family would be on the other side of the table and what that would be like. I want to let you know that it is energizing, fun and uplifting!

Shared Histories in Making Others Smile

Bill’s family has a long tradition of baking and making confections that goes back to his Grandparents in Germany. On a recent trip to New York I was reminded that my own Grandfather owned a candy store in Brooklyn, NY when my mother was a child. Can you imagine what a hit she was with her friends?? So I guess you could say it’s a real family tradition on both sides that guide our truffle making process and their public presentation.

I have found that my life is enriched most through the people I meet and the lives that intersect with my own at different times and places. Being at the Charlotte Tailgate Market this year (our first market ever) has been one of those wonderful experiences. Getting to know our customers and seeing so many “smiling faces for homemade chocolates” has been a lot of fun. It has helped me to feel very at home in a community I have only lived in for about 18 months. I’m so thankful for that.

Friends We've Made Along the Way

Friends We've Made Along the Way

A Chocolate Experience

So- What do I see when people are tasting our chocolate truffles?

  • Some will take a small bite & let it melt slowly in their mouth, sensing the flavors as they move from the front of the mouth to the back of the tongue where the tastes often lingers.
  • I watch and see how some flavors are sensed as the chocolate reaches the back of the mouth towards the throat, like the ginger. While other flavors appear to have an immediate affect on the taster as their face and eyes light up almost as if a look of pleasant surprise—this often happens when a person first tastes the basil and there is often a slow response of “Oh my God” — “wow” — “I didn’t expect it to work so well with chocolate”.
  • Then there are those who have never tried our truffles before and will pop a whole piece in their mouth at once! They often have this look of total surprise like “What was that!” and then a bright smile will slowly spread across their face. This is often followed by “I’ve never tasted anything like this before”, or “these are amazing”.

I will confess that the expression on some people’s faces is so intense that sometimes I feel like I am intruding in on a very intimate moment.

Young Chocolate Explorers

I especially enjoy watching our younger customers and connoisseurs that will savor the different flavors and are so articulate in their descriptions of what they are tasting , whether it’s the warmth of the ginger on the back of the tongue or the earthiness of the basil. They already understand that one taste of exquisite chocolate is far better than a full bag of generic machine made candy. Future suitors should be advised!

I must also mention our “Mom” (as we call her) who comes back every week with her empty box to get her refill of truffles. We love her recycling and watching her kids grow.

It is so nice to bring a simple moment of pleasure to people and see the childlike smiles of excitement as they take home their little white boxes of “the best chocolate truffles ever” (quoting one of our customers).


Next time I’ll talk a little about the health benefits of chocolate. It’s always good to find a reason to eat chocolate!


Karen provides the charm and conversation to visitors in our shop. Her friendly disposition led her to a career in church something-or-other, and now she brings her listening skills and desire to make people happy to our family enterprise.