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Chelsea McNeely
March 26, 2021 | Chelsea McNeely

Lakewood Chocolates

Q: Tell us about yourself and how you got started with truffle making. 


A: I started making truffles about 25 years ago and what I did was I came across a recipe I had for years and never did anything with it. I’ve never made a truffle in my life. I just decided to make some one time to see what it was like because I had never even eaten one before. I made some and took them over to a friend of mine who had been eating truffles all of her life. I asked her to taste them and see if they are any good because I wanted to give them as Christmas gifts. She ate it and said it was one of the best truffles she had ever had.

I started making them around Christmas time, giving them to friends and family. I did that off and on for all those years. I’m retired from law enforcement since three years ago and I decided if I could make a part time gig out of it. I got with a friend of mine who is a pastry chef and took some out to him. He said your truffles are good enough to sell but if you want to sell a lot of them you need to bring them up to standards, maybe molded chocolates instead, and make them colored. I started practicing and practiced for about three weeks and then went to a shop to see if they would be interested in carrying them and they said yes. 

I started carrying with this shop and people started calling and wanting. It’s a small business that I do all in my home. I have been mainly selling wholesale but have a few indiviuals who call and buy so I deliver that way.  When I got started with Lost Oak Winery, a friend of mine worked there and said they were looking for new chocolate. 


Q: What do you love most about chocolates and your business so far?

A:  I really enjoy it and have cooked off and on for most of my life. I’ve never done much with chocolate but was always interested in desserts. The biggest thing is it’s enjoyable and I enjoy doing it. I’m happy to see people enjoy something that I’ve made. 


Q: In your opinion, what is the connection between chocolate and wine?


A:  Everyone always seems to want to pair chocolates with something and when I was approached about the wine end of it, I knew that I liked a little bit of chocolate with wine. They started talking about different flavors and wanted to pair with their different products. I was sent a bottle of Merlot and enjoyed the flavor of the two combined. (Merlot and Amaretto & Grande Marnier).


Q: What’s your favorite chocolate that you make?


A: I like the Amaretto & Grande Marnier I think the best.


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