After spending 18 years in the tourism industry training dolphins and other animals, Colleen Heidecker needed a switch. She took a chocolate making class for fun and was hooked on the sweet life, teaching herself as many skills as she could before going to Ecole Chocolat to become a master chocolatier.
“I just kept learning and a few years ago we had a health issue in the family, so I thought, ‘Well, I better make chocolate more often,’ because I needed to supplement income for the household,” says Heidecker. “And it just very quickly started growing. It was slow, but steady.”
Heidecker started selling under the name Colleen’s Chocolates in 2017 at markets around the province. Her stock includes a collection of chocolate bars with unique flavours that rotate every few months like salted caramelized chocolate and biscuits, ruby and Pop Rocks, strawberries and biscuits and crème brûlée.
“It’s been really fun to take something that somebody else has, like a spice or an ingredient, and find a way to make it into a cool chocolate. I think that sets us apart,” says Heidecker.
The pandemic proved to be a challenge, especially for a business relying on in-person markets, but Heidecker quickly pivoted to an online delivery service days after the pandemic shut down retail. She also offers hour-long virtual chocolate tastings for private groups, parties and companies. There are no minimum number of guests or order fee.
Colleen’s Chocolates are available at colleenschocolates.com or at Glass Bookshop, Sweet Jolie Boutique and local markets.
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This article appears in the March 2022 issue of Edify
This content was produced to support the Edmonton Made community. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Edify staff.