You know those movies where one of the characters tastes something and they melt? Like their eyes close, their head lolls back and their mouth floats into a relaxed smile? Tasting Sara's confections was like that for me. I'm a chocolate-lover and have tried my fair share, but these were truly unique in the way they melt and how the flavors melded together. It was hard to restrict myself to two so others could try them!
Sara is a Montana-based solopreneur who's run her own business, Chocolate Eclipse, for the last 12 years. She is a lovely woman with lots of ideas and lots of heart and passion for her work.
Learn more about her in our interview below. Meanwhile, I'll be eating some chocolate...
Please introduce yourself and your business.
Chocolate Eclipse is a small Western Montana business producing beautiful and delicious handmade chocolates. We make fine chocolate truffles without added oils or preservatives.
I began making chocolate truffles for family as holiday gifts while in college. I wanted to produce a truffle with a few simple ingredients, avoiding additives.
I went to UCSC to study earth sciences and worked in geotechnical engineering before starting my own culinary business. I still love geology and the natural sciences.
Where did you get the name for your business?
I was Chocolates & Truffles when I started selling chocolate. I was naming individual truffle flavors and my mother-in-law thought the design I used on the dark chocolate truffle looked like an eclipse.
What makes your chocolates unique?
We have edible designs, no added preservatives, and products customized with your design. We love to accommodate special diets, so let us know your dietary restrictions and we will give you some options.
What are some of the things you offer?
My specialties are chocolate truffles and caramel. I also make cute chocolate lollipops, bars, gluten free chocolate cupcakes, sweet and savory scones, and decadent brownies. (Oh and Sara offers subscription boxes!)
How did you get into chocolatiering and where did you train?
I started by making chocolate truffles for family holiday gifts. I was self taught until I studied with a professional chef and chocolatier in Santa Cruz, California. I started selling my chocolate creations in December 2008.
What is your favorite part of your work?
I love the satisfaction of creating a beautiful product, the meditative quality of my work, and providing a confection people actively seek out.
What do you find most challenging?
It's a huge time commitment. I can't think of being paid for my time the same way I would in another job.
What is something (or some things) that people don’t usually know about chocolatiering?
Quality chocolate contains chocolate liqueur, cocoa butter, milk, sugar, vanilla, and lecithin. If it contains something else it might not be high quality chocolate. Real white chocolate will not have chocolate liqueur but will also not contain added fats, like hydrogenated oil. I believe most people who do not like white chocolate have never had real white chocolate.
How can people follow you or purchase from you?