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Meet Catherine von Ruden of Eos Chocolates

Today we’d like to introduce you to Catherine von Ruden.

Catherine, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
It all started with banter between my best friend, Karen, and me. She was in the midst of a divorce when one night I suggested it would be great if she had a man made of chocolate whom she could nibble on whenever she felt like it.

Pure enjoyment, no trouble. Hence, Chocolate Man (on a stick, as she suggested, so as not to get one’s hands dirty) got stuck in my head.

At that time, I was still living in New York and following a different career path. In 2010, however, I relocated to California with my husband and two kids and started working on fulfilling my dream of having my own sweets company. I had always loved making desserts growing up in Switzerland, so I took classes in chocolate making and fell in love with this art. In 2012, I formed Eos Chocolates, I began the design work on Chocolate Man and played around with chocolate in the kitchen. My first love and products were classic chocolate covered almonds and chocolate almond squares, both inspired by what was my favorite treat growing up, and by working with my brother who manages the family almond farm here in California. Since the design and making of the actual mold for Chocolate Man took a long time (two years), I decided to start selling my chocolate almonds to stores in the meantime, and test the market and myself selling products.

Chocolate Man launched with an appearance on Bravo’s “Millionaire Matchmaker” in February 2014. He makes women and men smile wherever he appears.

My chocolate line has since expanded to 4 products with different flavored chocolate almonds, 4 chocolate barks, a chocolate almond spread, a chocolate energy bar and truffles. I love doing custom work for corporate gifting and creating seasonal specialties.

I fine-tuned creating sweet treats over the years. I don’t add extra sugar where it’s not needed; I always try to use as little as possible. The natural flavor of the ingredients should shine on their own, and the enjoyment of the products should be a treat that is as healthy as possible.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It hasn’t always been a smooth road but forever a great adventure! As a mostly left-brain thinker before starting my own chocolate company, I find that my right brain gets the upper hand sometimes and muddles my logic. Too much passion probably!

I also get a more acute sense of my strengths and weaknesses as a business owner since I am in charge of all aspects of the business, from the creation of the chocolate to production, packaging, sales, balancing the books and trying to make a living out of it all. I am most terrified of making cold calls, but I am learning to address this and other weaknesses and ask for the help of others who are much better at it than I.

Eos Chocolates – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Eos Chocolates has an innovative and mindful approach to the creation of artisan chocolates. It’s Swiss Inspired, California Crafted.

I am proud of having a clean label, meaning my products have few ingredients and are generally less sweet than others. I use local ingredients whenever possible. I work mostly with 70% fair-trade, single origin Columbian chocolate. It’s my favorite, and it’s where the health benefits from eating chocolate come into play. I produce mindfully in small batches, and all my ingredients are either sustainably farmed and/or organic. My products are also vegan and gluten free.

The flavor profile of the chocolate really sets it apart from other chocolates. It’s rich and harmonious and, with the combination of some of the ingredients and their distinct flavors, unique. Eos Chocolates offers a tempting array of products for different occasions, times of day and moods, and are a pure and satisfying pleasure for chocolate lovers.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I define success as living to one’s highest potential and greater good for all. Living in harmony and peace as well as balancing business, family, friendships and personal time is my daily goal. So I live small successes and failures every day but ultimately, they may never affect or lead me off my guiding principle of living a prosperous life benefiting others.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Stephanie Dinkel
April Rocha
Urs Oskar Keller
Lilly von Ruden

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