My friends are chocolatiers. Yes, as in honest-to-goodness-they-make-the-most-delicious-chocolates-on-earth-for-a-living, chocolatiers. And as of this past spring, they have their very own chocolate shop in the Georgetown area of DC. Robert makes the chocolate, Ashley handles the marketing and business operations. A little about their chocolates:
Fleurir Hand Grown Chocolates lovingly makes each piece of chocolate by hand and only uses fresh, high-quality, and natural ingredients (think Valhrona chocolate, Murray River Flake Salt, and fresh cream and butter) to ensure a clean, balanced and awesomely delicious flavor with every piece. By combining classic techniques with a strong design perspective, Fleurir Hand Grown Chocolates offers a chocolate that is as exciting to eat as it is to look at.
And if that photo and description weren’t enough to drool over, could they be even cuter? (YES- because besides being ridiculously goodlooking, they are 2 of the nicest people I know)
But opening a chocolate shop hasn’t been a cake walk. They’ve worked for years to get to this point- Robert went to culinary school and worked under a chocolatier before creating Fleurir. They’ve woken up early every Saturday (like pre 7am early) for the past 2+ years to sell their chocolates at farmers’ markets. Ashley has a part time job at Anthropologie. Robert drives 3 hours away multiple times a month to make the chocolates at his parent’s house in Virginia- because they haven’t found a space to make the chocolates in the DC area yet.
But their business is growing, and they were able to open the brick-and-mortar Fleurir shop in the spring of 2011. And little by little, they’ve gotten attention on the local (DC area) and national level. Just in the last week they were featured in Refinery 29’s ‘12 Hip Gifts To Make Your Holiday Hosts Feel Extra-Merry,’ Brightest Young Thing’s ‘Winter Guide,’ and the big one… Food & Wine Magazine (January 2012 edition) in their Trendspotting Section: ‘Start Your Own Food Business: Chocolate Case Study.’
They’ve been featured before in publications like DailyCandy, UrbanDaddy, and Dwell.
And how did they get there? Tons of hard work, with tons more to go. Tons of passion and dedication. They’ve stayed true to their vision and keep chugging along, cracking the market inch by inch.
When I’m lacking inspiration or had a particular frustrating day, I think of them and Fleurir (and if I’ve visited them recently, I’ll think while munching on one of their delicious chocolates). Some days ‘success’ seems so far away, but I know I can’t wallow in my frustration- if I keep ‘chugging along’ and continue to work hard and follow my passions, I know one day I’ll find ‘success’ and find myself right where I’m supposed to be.
(Fun Fact- giving a new meaning to eye candy: they had a graphic designer create all the images for the chocolates- which are hand-screened onto each piece with a cocoa butter transfer… hello gorgeous!)
OH! And buy their chocolate here: http://www.fleurirchocolates.com/store