This month’s vendor spotlight features Sue Papach, owner of So Sweet Chocolates. Sue’s chocolates have been featured in Coastal Living Magazine and Bride’s Magazine, and were also given to over 200 celebrities at the Oscars. She has designed chocolate football Christmas gifts for the New York Giants. Sue has received kudos from Virginia Willis, Culinary Expert and author of the fabulous southern cookbook “Bon Appetit Ya’ll”, and won “Best Chocolate in Show” at the Atlanta Fall Gift & Home Furnishings Market® featuring The Atlanta Gourmet Market®. ivillage.com honored her with a feature-length story and world wide radio broadcast as a “Mompreneur”. She also appeared on NBC as a “woman with a dream job”.
Boutique Chocolatier for 17 years
IS: Wow! You’ve got quite the list of accolades. What first sparked your interest in chocolates, and how did you get where you are today?
SSC: My first attempt at designer chocolates was in 1989 when I had my third child (I now have 5). I wanted my daughters to give a “remembrance announcement” to their classmates ~ something different from the ordinary bubble gum cigar. My husband Ray and I co-owned a custom woodworking business, and I already had a strong knowledge base of tole-painting. I utilized that talent on hand-poured molded chocolate pieces, and the favor business was born.
In 1993, I purchased a computer and designed a website with a few pictures of my finished products. With the growth of the World Wide Web, the possibilities were endless. From the small cottage business, I went to a bigger arena and I have marketed my chocolates with major success at the trade shows in Atlanta, Myrtle Beach and Philadelphia.
IS: Common wedding favors include candles, store-bought chocolates/kisses, or the current trend of jars of candies set up at a bar. What are the benefits of having custom chocolates as wedding favors?
SSC: Custom chocolates are for the couple who truly want to personalize their wedding favors, and give their guests something new and different. Because I am a custom designer, I have control over all aspects of the favor as a decadent statement piece. I work with over 1000 designs in chocolate and truffles. I can design a perfect custom favor that is hand-painted with a “glitter effect” in milk, dark or white chocolate and finished in an array of colors and tastes that will accommodate any heart’s desire. Each favor is unique to the couple’s taste and experiences, making their chocolate choice as unique as they are!
IS: Are gourmet chocolates just for weddings? Chocolate lovers often proclaim that any time is a good time for chocolate!
SSC: As a Boutique Chocolatier ~ my mantra is “Entertain the Idea of Chocolate”. I would love for everyone to experience chocolate everyday! Seasonal favorites are very popular, like my triple chocolate dipped gourmet apples and my version of a pecan caramel delight called “Suzelles”.
Chocolate is the ultimate gift. Truffles can easily be paired with any food or drink and send an elegant statement or a simple utterance of thanks. I create gift baskets and combination boxed pieces. My gourmet chocolates can welcome a new baby, celebrate an anniversary, express condolences, delight a themed birthday, honor a graduate, wish happy travels and of course, send LOVE!
It is so fabulous to have a fan base and I look forward to growing my clientele list! My ultimate desire would be to have my own shop ~ with daily specials and tastings so I can meet everyone and guess their favorite, like Juliette Binoche in the movie Chocolat.
Sue offers custom event tastings by appointment. She offers samples and design ideas to anyone planning an event or gift. Visit So Sweet Chocolates at www.sosweetchocolates.com, or call Sue at (910) 547-5920!