In the late 1980’s creating chocolate treats for family and friends during the winter holidays was just a hobby for Ed. By 1990 friends and family had developed a desire to always have the handmade and hand dipped truffles, caramels and other assorted treats available for the holiday season. What began as a few dozen boxes of chocolate treats grew into a demand for hundreds of boxes.
In 1992 Theobroma Chocolate Company was officially established. Half of the garage was converted to and inspected by the appropriate City and State officials. In March 1992 the cottage industry of Theobroma Chocolate Company was launched.
In September of 1992 the first co-worker/partner joined Ed when his first daughter Caroline (Carrie) was born. She kept him company in the garage as candies were dipped in chocolate. Eventually when she learned to crawl and walk she would check on the progress of the dipping by tugging on Ed’s leg for a sample.
In 1995 Theobroma moved out of the garage to its first of several bigger more productive locations. In 1996 the chocolate bars entered the picture and quickly became the biggest sellers and most profitable items we produced. The company continued to grow and had a staff/family of twelve, a retail store and provided factory tours where customers could view the production activities through large glass panels. The Theobroma products started to spread across the state of Alaska. Many visitors to Sitka enjoyed the tour and products from facility and continue to order items from across the country. Life was good.
In 2010 lease cost increases made it financially infeasible to remain at the site. Theobroma set up a chocolate bar production facility that was, at the time, intended to be a short term, temporary location. The staff was reduced to two production employees and one production/business/marketing/delivery employee (Ed). Efforts to secure a new fully functional site and bring back the full staff were stalled by a series complications and events. In 2012 Ed decided to remain in the small but efficient production facility and that brings us to the present.
In Spring of 2020 Ed’s first co-worker/partner returned to Theobroma to bring a new energy and direction to the company. She and a close family friend, Brian, are young and eager to breathe new life into the company while keeping the quality values the company was built on. After graduating from business school in Hawaii and working in many relating fields, Carrie decided to bring that experience home. Raised in Idaho, Brian moved up to Sitka working for NSRAA, as a fisheries biologist, similarly to Ed. It’s surprising, to some, how important scientific knowledge is in producing chocolate. It's a mixture of science and art/craftsmanship. Brian’s ability in both makes him the perfect successor in production.
“Together, and with the outstanding support of our community, we’re very excited to bring you the next chapter of Theobroma Chocolate Company!”
Business and Marketing Manager
Brian P. LeBlanc