Let's see, where to begin... I knew Pete in High School... he was a senior football and baseball legend (some say) and I was just a sophomore and well his side of the story goes that he said "Hi" to me once and I snubbed him. But I say his mustache and muscular physique was just too much for this little girl. I was a Marquette and sometimes our knee-high white boots and miniskirts were just too hard for even the best of athletes to handle. Apparently, it wasn't the right time... for us.
The story picks up 37 years later with 4 failed marriages and 5 children between us where we now were brave enough to believe in LOVE again. We first found great peace with something very deep. It was a "home" type feeling that we later attributed to both being Santa Barbara Natives. Basic things were common, easy and familiar but definitely an "opposites attract" kind of thing. Pete was in the Fire Protection Industry for 34 years keeping buildings and their employees safe all up and down the California coast and I myself was living in New York City running a jewelry company, then a funky Bed & Breakfast and lastly teaching art in Brooklyn. We couldn't be more different but the puzzle piece that you fit next too is never the same shape nor does it have the same details as you... does it? Anyways, eventually the puzzle picture is complete and that’s what we feel... complete.
In the second half of life, if you're lucky, you can reflect, adjust and dream about what's really important in life. So we did this together and landed on this crazy idea of telling romantic stories of Santa Barbara through making chocolate and incorporating art in some unique way. With Pete's dream of producing food products like salsa, moles, hot chocolate and even a having a taco truck and I currently owning The Woods Art Studio where I hold Paint Parties, Art Classes, and Kids Camps... it seemed like we had the right background, set of interests and drive to make creative, craft chocolate in Santa Barbara... Work.
We researched and fumbled around for nearly a year before we were brave enough to launch our first Chocolaty season to friends and family. When we unexpectedly sold out of boxes it made us rethink a retirement date for Pete and think of a way to bring Art Experiences into the chocolate business. But for me, it is a way to do things together, enjoy our town with purpose, find stories, and create interesting chocolate and handcrafted wooden Art Box Activities. The greatest health benefit of all is being able to share something that we put our hearts into that makes other people happy. We both agreed that our best years are ahead of us now and we feel that we have found that thing that we are truly passionate about and that we can do together. Hopefully this comes through in our chocolate and we can take you on this adventure with us. We have a saying that sums it up: LIVE CREATIVELY AND EAT CHOCOLATE!
Pete & LeAnne