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My Journey to Chocolate


Welcome, Fellow Creator, to November.


My thoughts, much like the weather in my locale, have been running amok. There is an unmistakable correlation between the soggy days and my sorry attitude. I cannot prove causation, but I can attest that the radiance of the sun today uplifted me more than my morning espresso.


One factor that has proven consistent in my life — as consistent as my changeable moods (and hobbies) — is my appreciation for chocolate. A budding gourmand, I hosted a chocolate-themed party at the age of nine. I invited classmates, scribed chocolate trivia, organized candy prizes, and, with help, painstakingly prepared 4-layer-pistachio-chocolate-ganache bars.


Around that time, I first saw Chocolat. The film captivated me for reasons I could not fully place. It communicated something I sensed in my heart —- chocolate, or maybe more so the act of creation, could send ripples out into humanity that surpassed its gastronomic relevance. To me, the story suggested chocolate as a conduit for integrity, defiance, education, friendship, pleasure, connection, expression, community — and sure, income too.


Chocolate and the Corporate Machine


There remains within me a deep excitement to work with chocolate and to share it with others. As I’ve walked the vocational path of chocolatier for over a decade, chocolate has continued to be my medium of choice for artistic expression. My expertise has also provided me with “gainful employment”. I have worked for companies both big and small, however, in all my work experiences, something always felt discordant. I did the work. I did it enthusiastically. I even enjoyed it. Still, I longed for a different path.


Many professionals have advised me that there's only “success” (money) if you produce volume — more than what you, alone with your two hands, can possibly create. I've been told that if you don't keep growing, scaling up, then you die out. Pretty discouraging for a gal who loves creating and has never wanted to pass her job off to a machine.


The projected profit-less-ness of solopreneur-dom cast an aura of shame around my dream. Artisans can't pay their bills with their Craft, I believed. I want to dirty my own apron. Walk my own path. I want to do business with soul. So why would I choose this path if I have to outsource all the creation to someone (or something) else?


The Joy of Self Discovery and Staying Small


If, like me, you have nurtured a love and a craft without knowing why, I encourage a little examination of conscience. I am currently on a pilgrimage to the heart of what my beliefs about chocolate and business really are; what do I want my very own chocolate business to look like? I have long dreamed of being “a teeny tiny beautiful speck on the map" because "that is what makes [my] heart sing.” (I have the lovely Mackenzie Rivers of The Next Batch to thank for that life-changing quote, and for my renewed determination to pave my own way.)


The process of rebranding has been so enlightening for me, unearthing convictions I never knew I had. I have had to examine and distill that general sense I have carried around in my heart to something tangible and articulate. What have I found?


Chocolate as Delight Embodied


During a counselling session we had a discussion about making a “comfort box” —- a container filled with things I like that engage my senses. It is a tool I can use to help calm in the midst of overwhelming emotions. Similarly, the confections I make are a love letter to your senses:


See the artful box, the careful designs on the chocolates;

Smell the heady aroma of thick whole-bean vanilla paste;

Listen to the crisp snap of a well-tempered chocolate bar;

Feel the silky ribbon as you unwrap a box to place a crispy-creamy bonbon on your tongue;

Taste the comforting familiarity of rich, buttery caramel or the unexpected maple notes of a candy cap mushroom. Slowly journeying through your senses in this way is grounding and encourages a sense of wellbeing.


When I seek out a chocolatier, it is for their finesse, not for a quick sugar fix. I don’t have fine confections every day and when I do it is a deep pleasure. An exceptional chocolate bar offers a pause. It is an invitation to step outside the mundane, even for a moment, and lend your attention to something that makes you feel special.


It says, You deserve the time to indulge and focus on something delightful. Forget about that deadline, that chore, and have the space to enjoy.


These invitations to life are central to my beautiful speck, Verdant Confections. Will it ever be huge? Gratefully, no. Success for me means building a precious community of chocolate lovers. People I know (or soon will know) by name. Success means turning my personal artistic expression into moments of joyful embodiment for others. Success means doing what makes my heart sing.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Christy Farion, a Chocolatier for over a decade, began selling small-batch chocolate confections as a passionate teenager. Operating for years under the name "Christy's Confections", she is undergoing a rebrand that speaks to this new era of her calling in chocolate: Verdant Confections.


For more information, or to stay apprised of upcoming seasonal chocolate offerings, please contact her at hello@verdantconfections.ca. Chocolates will be available by Dec 1st onward for the season.


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