About four years ago, Stacy Peters and a friend sold their handmade chocolates at the Village Bakery and Café in Athens, Ohio during the holiday season. Since then, Peters opened her own shop −O’Chocolate− in the same town and business is booming.
In fact, there are stores waiting to carry O’Chocolate’s offerings and, though it’s arguably a good problem to have, Peters says her biggest challenge at the moment is figuring out when to expand and hire additional employees to keep up with demand.
At this point, one might be wondering what makes O’Chocolate truffles and chocolate bars (which have been sold at Celebrate Local at Easton Town Center and The Hills Market), so appealing. Peters says it’s what they’re made from.
“The chocolate we use guarantees a fair wage to the cacao farmers who are working hard for all of us chocolatiers and chocolate lovers to have great cacao to work with,” she says. “As for local, seasonal ingredients…we find them to be the freshest options to work with, it supports and gives recognition to other local vendors/farmers in our community, and it raises the bar for other chocolate companies to look all around them for great ingredients to make new flavors.”
It might seem odd for someone with a degree in health education to be making candy for a living, but Peters doesn’t see it that way.
“I believe in buying and consuming products that are in their most natural state, organic, fresh, sourced sustainably for the betterment of communities, and helping people to understand that eating large amounts of processed sugar is not good for the body nor does it make us feel better,” she says. “The chocolates we create are changing people’s lives.”
To Peters, there are “so many great parts” about being a business owner.
However, “The best part is controlling my day− having time to spend with my son, friends and family, all the while working hard to build a business that I believe in and can say I truly built from the ground up, from developing the best possible recipes to opening a store and all the in-between!”
In the near future, Peters has plans to sell her chocolates all over Ohio.
“Stay tuned!” she says. “Join our newsletter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook for the latest information.”
To learn more about O’Chocolate, visit AthensChocolate.com.