"I took advantage of Europe being at my doorstep and I enrolled in Ecole Chocolat and travelled through Europe studying and researching fine, European chocolate." - Brooke Willis, Founder & Chocolatier, B Cocoa Artisan Chocolate
In this week's post, we're super excited to introduce you to Brooke Willis, an Ecole Chocolate trained chocolatier and fine chocolate enthusiast. Located in Wichita Fallas, Texas, we'll learn how she began her shop, B Cocoa Artisan Chocolates, her favorite part about being a business owner and much more.
We're so happy to share Brooke's story and encourage you to follow and support her work. Read on y'all!
Tell us a little about your business and how you got started.
I lived in England for three years and I was introduced to real, fine chocolate when I attended a chocolate making workshop in there. I knew from that moment that fine chocolate was something I wanted to learn more about and that it was very hard to find in America.
I took advantage of Europe being at my doorstep and I enrolled in Ecole Chocolat and travelled through Europe studying and researching fine, European chocolate. When we moved to Wichita Falls, I made a batch of chocolate for Christmas gifts for teachers and by the end of the day had orders for more chocolate, the rest is pretty much history!
B Cocoa focuses on making small batches of all natural handmade truffles using fine European chocolate. I when I m not hand tempering and making truffles, I teach hands-on chocolate workshops where participants make their own truffles and learn about the difference between fine chocolate and a bar you would buy in the grocery store. I am very passionate about fine chocolate and educating people about how to find it and why it is important to support the fine chocolate industry.
What is your favorite item in the shop right now?
I'm loving my new chocolate bars! They are Callebaut 70% single origin dark chocolate form Sao Thome and I have just sourced handmade, all natural paper from Nepal that is made by Co-ops of women artisans that I use to package my bars. It is beautiful; the women artisans are so talented!
I am very passionate about supporting other artisans and also sourcing fair trade whenever I can, especially with my chocolate. You can find my bars and boxes at my favorite shop, Little h Creative in downtown Wichita Falls.
What is your favorite part of running your own business?
I LOVE that I work for me and answer only to myself and my chocolate. I have always needed a creative outlet to stay sane and chocolate work feeds my soul. I homeschool my two kiddos so it offers me flexibility and freedom to work when I can and when I want to.
What's the hardest part?
I would say the hardest part is balancing family and chocolate demand. I have to slow down on building my business because I have young kids and they are my number one priority. Balancing work and family life is sometimes a struggle because I am a hustler and I want to go all in, but I know that God's timing is SO much better than mine, so I try my best to be patient. I have learned that tempering chocolate at 5 AM and packaging chocolate at 10 PM keeps my life sane! It's all about balance.
What other projects are keeping you busy?
We now have our new retail and kitchen location open. This space is used for our workshops and offers retail chocolate and gourmet goods. Special orders and pick up days are Wed-Frid. Here's to great and supportive friends who bust through the doors with champagne and celebrate life with you and friend who come from far away to bring you amazing veggies.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
I would just like to say thank you for featuring me and supporting me. I have been so blessed in the last year to meet and work with an AMAZING group of talented artisans and women and I am so glad that we can support each other pursuing our passions! Mamas, makers, creators, entrepreneurs, momprenuers, keep encouraging each other and lifting each other up we are totally stronger together.
A big thank you to Brooke for sharing her story. We definitely encourage you to visit her website and shop. And please make sure to start following her on social media!