Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessica Foster.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Jessica. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I’ve been in business for almost 17 years. Scary! I lived abroad in Spain when I was 18. I attended the university with other non-Spanish speaking students, so I met people from around the world. After growing up in a small town on the central coast of CA, the exposure to new cultures, cuisines and flavors struck me and I came back home super passionate about food and cooking. Cooking and entertaining became my hobby and I hosted dinner parties and practiced on my friends through college. After graduating from UCSB with a rather impracticable degree in Religious Studies, I considered culinary school but opted to explore the industry by jumping right into it. I worked in a few restaurants where I met and worked with mentors that taught me a ton and guided me. Within four years of graduating, I started my little business! In the first year or two, I worked full time and sold meager amounts of chocolate to my few fans. Slowly, as demand grew, I pared down my work hours and was eventually running my business full time.
I’m still proudly a small business but now have two (amazing) employees and lots of fantastic clients. I work very hard, but I love what I do. Chocolate and confections generally make people happy. 🙂
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The road has been windy and definitely has had some bumps. I think that’s just the nature of life in general… It’s how we learn, after all. So yes. Struggles and growing pains for sure. And when you don’t receive a paycheck for your work, you have to hustle. You’re the one that has to make things happen, so you have to be self-motivated. And there are always leaner times and seasons, so budgeting is a good lesson as well.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
We make chocolates and other confections for retail stores, wineries, hotels, etc. as well as doing wedding favors and event catering. The first products were handmade chocolate truffles (we have 30 flavors now), but we’ve added other products such as sea salt caramels, caramelized almonds, savory marcona almond brittle with rosemary, thyme & sea salt and other seasonal goodies.
I think we’re different for multiple reasons but the fact that I am self taught just means that I do things differently. I made everything up myself and didn’t know the “right” way to do things. The truffles are all hand formed and hand dipped, giving them a very thin coating of chocolate so they really just melt in your mouth. This makes them very conducive to pairing with wine, which is a large segment of my business (and one of my favorites).
We only use natural, fresh ingredients, many of which I either grow at home or source locally. I grow oranges, meyer lemons, rosemary, thyme, lavender and mint as of right now.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I make enough money to live and pay my bills comfortably and I enjoy what I do. That’s pretty much success to me. I’m also thrilled that I’m able to employ people as well and obviously do want to grow. But I think I’ve learned a lot over my 17 years and realize what’s really important to me.
- 18 piece box of truffles $32
- sea salt caramels- bag of 20 $13
- caramelized almonds- 8oz bag $16
- Website: jessicafosterconfections.com
- Phone: 805-637-6985
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: jessicafosterconfections
- Facebook: jessicafosterconfections
- Twitter: truffleuffugus
Let me know if these are too “fun”. I do have professional shots as well but they are more like head shots.