Sometimes all you need is good company, an idea, and nature. We went out alongside Meta Adler, owner of Dept. 7 East, looking to incorporate nature into our holiday decor. Man, were we successful! Go outside on this warm winter day and gather greenery for the perfect last minute wreath, or tablescape. Be inspired!
*You’re Welcome Savannah has teamed up with the talented students of Scribble Art Studio to help bring some holiday cheer as we count down the days til Christmas. Periodically, we will post images which the students have made to be showcased on the blog. Today’s image is by Waylon Gibson age nine.
Tell us about the Chocolate Lab. What inspired you to work with chocolate?
The Chocolate Lab is my little shop here in Savannah where I make artisan, hand-crafted candy bars from local, organic, and fair-trade ingredients. Making candy bars is the culmination of a love of craft chocolate, a strong belief in hand-crafted food, and serious sweet tooth. Currently I don’t have a retail location – I just do wholesale from my shop. I do have an online shop where I offer a local pick-up option once a week.
Were you formally trained in the art of chocolate?
I never trained formally in pastry or chocolate. I left the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, where I was pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree in Studio Art to pursue baking and pastry on my own. I moved back to Savannah where I had lived when I was attending SCAD and started waiting tables until I found a job baking. I became really interested in chocolate, so I read a lot and experimented in my spare time with recipes and techniques. I worked on the recipes and the idea for The Chocolate Lab for a couple of years before I opened the shop.
Name your top three products.
Goat Milk Caramel Bar (best selling and personal favorite)
Chocolate Nougat Caramel Bar
Drinking Chocolate (personal favorite)
You’ve had a solid amount of success thus far. On the flip side tell us about your most difficult challenges in the chocolate business.
There are always new challenges, especially in the first year – everything is new and there are a lot of unexpected obstacles. The best thing you can do is to have good people on your side. I’ve been extremely fortunate to have Kay Wolfersperger designing my packaging and brand – I don’t know where I would be without her. Right now I’m experiencing a lot of growth, which is really exciting and brings its own set of problems to be solved. I just look at them and say “What else you got?”
What is next for The Chocolate Lab?
I have more ideas than I have time to execute them! I’ll definitely have a Limited Edition Bar for Valentines Day – the Knockout: Chocolate Caramel & Chili Spiced Chocolate Nougat in Dark Chocolate. Other than that I can only say that the sky’s the limit!