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Just the thought of it can cause a craving for that sweet, delectable substance. It is craved by many, addictive to some, disliked by a scant few.
On that simple concept Mona Newbauer has built a successful business here on Whidbey Island. She owns and operates Island Angel Chocolates.
Last Saturday, she opened 1 Angel Place, a retail outlet for her handmade truffles and a chocolate bar on Second Street in Langley.
The store is open now, but Newbauer is still putting finishing touches on the bar that is scheduled to open in early April.
At the chocolate bar, customers will enjoy different kinds of European-style drinking chocolates made from just the best ingredients. It will also feature an open kitchen concept.
Customers will be able to see how the chocolates are made, Newbauer said.
The store, open one week now, has been very popular so far.
It is so exciting. I never had the chance to be face to face with customers before, she said.
Island Angel Chocolates has been in business for four years but it was run exclusively as a wholesale and online order business. People can buy chocolates in the store now or continue to order them online.
It is rewarding to have direct interaction with the people who eat the chocolates, Newbauer said.
Just a few days ago, a woman came in and bought a sample box with a few chocolates.
Minutes later she was back and said she had a complaint, Newbauer recalls.
The woman said: These chocolates are just too good to eat just a few. Fill up the whole box.
Island Angel Chocolates are made from select, high quality ingredients and are free of preservatives. All truffles are made from original recipes by Newbauer.
Newbauer and her assistant chocolatier, Tony Newbauer, make flavors they enjoy themselves.
So whats the chocolatiers favorite?
Newbauer favors dark chocolate truffles.
I am a purist, she said.
Husband Tony cant decide among the delicacies.
I like em all, he said. But espresso is on top of his list.
Raspberry Breeze is a big hit among the customers. If people like fruit and chocolate, they usually love the raspberry kind,
Mona Newbauer said.
It is hard to just have one favorite. There are dark, milk and white chocolate truffles. Then there is the Whimsical Whidbey collection; chocolates in windmill, crab and shell shapes. And then there is almond toffee, Macadamia Halos, Pecan Clouds and fudge to choose from.
Mona Newbauer graduated from Ecole Chocolat, based in Vancouver, B.C. with a Professional Chocolatier Certificate. She studied the history, chemistry and artistry of chocolate including recipe development.
But she started out at home in her kitchen trying different variations and experimenting. The business has grown since.
Last year, the Newbauers produced about 25,000 truffles, in addition to many pounds of fudge and other specialties.
At 1 Angel Place, people can also buy angel-themed gifts, specialty chocolate bars from Europe and art from Beyond Borders, an organization supporting the Fair work for fair wages project for Haiti.
Not only Whidbey Islanders like Island Angel Chocolates, but they are popular in many parts of the world. The company has shipped truffles to France, Hungary, Belgium, Germany, China and Japan.
Once a box of chocolates was hand delivered to Down Under. Visitors took chocolates back home to Australia, Tony Newbauer said.
Island Angel Chocolates was born four years ago from a passion for gourmet chocolate. Mona Newbauer is looking forward to sharing this passion for chocolate with Langley and the rest of Whidbey Island.
Its not only about the chocolate, but about becoming part of the community, she said.