In 2004, on a charming street off Sunset Boulevard, we opened a small chocolate factory in Hollywood. Armed with nothing but determination and a recipe for an amazing, gourmet chocolate fudge, we have since turned John Kelly Chocolates into an award-winning national brand sold in high-end department stores, specialty shops, hotel gift shops, grocers – and online. We now make 19 variations on that original recipe, something we call “truffle fudge”, along with an array of other products, such as walnut caramel clusters, molded chocolates, salted caramels, chocolate-dipped fruit, and more.
You might be wondering, OK, but how did it all happen? And why on earth did we decide to put our hearts and souls into something like chocolate?
The answer is that both of us, John and Kelly, have lived our lives with an appreciation for creativity and high quality, while at the same time enjoying sharing that creativity and quality with other people. And chocolate works on all of those levels – what else can you do in life that has so much potential to satisfy all of your creativity, while bringing so much pleasure to other people at the same time?
We’re also not afraid to experiment, even if it carries a little risk. So when we decided to try our hand at owning a business years ago, we looked around at the chocolate that was widely available and knew we could do better. We knew the American palate was becoming more sophisticated, but where was the sophisticated chocolate? Or maybe more to the point – where was the sophisticated chocolate that was actually delicious, unique and more than just pretty to look at?