Today we’d like to introduce you to Jackie Rome.
Hi Jackie, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
After working in the corporate world for 20+ years, I found myself wanting to do something more creative and personal to me. I enrolled in an online chocolate making class and discovered the art and beauty of handcrafting chocolate. I took a leap of faith and committed to launching my own chocolate business by the following fall, but had no idea where to start. I felt like I was running but getting nowhere. So, I decided to take control of one of the many tasks before me and that task was designing a logo. It seemed like a very small part of the challenge ahead, but getting that one piece done propelled me forward. I had never designed a logo before. If I could do that, I could face the next hurdle. And there were so many more! But I launched my business as planned a year from taking the online class. I’ve now been in business for three years. I’ve made chocolates for baby showers, graduations and for corporate gifts. I’ve been featured in a local magazine and have even picked up an award or two along the way. Every year I learn more and it’s always challenging.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
It has not been a smooth road. One of the earliest challenges I faced was meeting with a group of business retirees.This group is supposed to lend expertise to fledgling businesses. Instead of nurturing my dream, I was shot down and advised to go back to the corporate world. It was absolutely deflating. But it was also infuriating and it lit a fire in me to make it happen. Another struggle I faced was with the county and getting my ingredients approved. Being a cottage food operator means you are restricted to certain ingredients as well as preparation methods. I was determined to use natural colors in my chocolates. This proved to be a tough battle with the county, but I persevered and finally received my approval to use natural colors. The day I received my approval, I felt like I had won the lottery. I’m a small business so month after month, new obstacles arise. Perseverance and a heavy dose of resilience are definitely needed.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I am a chocolatier. I specialize in hand-crafted seasonal and celebration chocolates along with custom chocolates for corporate gift giving. I use only, high quality, fair trade chocolate. I do not use artificial coloring or artificial flavoring in any of my ingredients even though natural costs more to obtain. I also have vegan options available. I’m proud that many of the boxes I use are made from recycled materials or are recyclable. I think what sets me apart from others is my packaging and chocolate designs. Everyone loves how striking my boxes are. I often get comments that my chocolates are almost too beautiful to eat. I can also put logos on chocolates which is unique! I love to collaborate with other businesses too. I’ve partnered with a winery, a florist, a wood maker and an ice cream shop to bring new experiences and gift ideas. Those are always fun to do and customers love them.
What makes you happy?
My family and friends make me happy. I feel lucky to be surrounded by love and support.
- 6-piece box is $10
- 12-piece box is $20
- 24-piece box is $35
- 32-piece box is $45
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.cocoarome.com
- Instagram: @cocoa_rome
- Facebook: www.Facebook.com/CocoaRome