JOHN & TRACY WOOD ANDERSON - FOUNDERS & OWNERS
Husband and wife owners, John and Tracy Wood Anderson, have been in love with food, wine and one another since meeting in college in 1981. Fortunately, their lives and skills have nurtured those loves. Tracy has been in the kitchen since she was five; she later added a chefís degree. Johnís family came to the Napa Valley in the early 1970ís to open a winery. Chocolate entered the scene as the result of a junior semester spent abroad in London. While traveling in France during that time, the two stumbled upon European chocolate and loved what they found. They ate every delicious morsel in every town that they visited. By the time they returned home they were already planning to enter the chocolate business. Well, other plans prevailed and over the following eighteen years they became married, had two daughters and together helped to run Johnís family winery, S. Anderson Vineyard.
Around 2000, John and Tracy began to look around for what to do next as the family had decided to retire and sell the winery. Their search was a short one as fate stepped in and tapped them on the shoulder. A local screening of the movie Chocolat was all it took. The passion they had felt for chocolate returned in earnest.
Woodhouse Chocolate opened April 3rd, 2004 after several intense years spent in preparation; Tracy studied the skills of the chocolatier in California, Canada and Belgium, John gathered the necessary chocolate equipment as well as built the kitchen and shop from an 1890ís stone building.
Tracy, as our founding chocolatier, created the original recipes and set the standards that have established Woodhouse Chocolate as one of the worldís best. She and her husband John continue to oversee operations and work with their daughter Christina Anderson, Head Chocolatier, to carry Woodhouse into the future while maintaining its rich traditions.
CHRISTINA WOOD ANDERSON - HEAD CHOCOLATIER
Christina Wood Anderson spent a lot of time in the kitchen while growing up, but it was not immediately obvious that cooking was to become her passion. Her initial interests lay in the performing and visual arts. It was while earning her degree in studio art at Scripps College in Claremont, California that her love of cooking began to blossom. She simply kept finding herself in the dorm kitchen baking cookies, cupcakes and other comfort foods. By senior year, Christina had established a weekly tradition of preparing multi-course meals for friends. She quickly realized that she wanted to be a chef and not a studio artist.
Although she had spent her teen years in the kitchen of her familyís business, Woodhouse Chocolate, honing her skills as a chocolatier, she had no real restaurant experience. So, immediately after college, she spent six months at Eldorado Kitchen in Sonoma, California testing the waters and confirming that this was the career path for her. Next was twenty-one months getting a Chefís degree at The California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, all the while working full time at City restaurants such as Catogna and Prospect.
It was while working in pastry for Michael Mina that Christina accepted her parentís invitation to return and lead Woodhouse Chocolate into the future. Combining the skills that she had already developed working in chocolate from the age of 15 with the added knowledge she gained in San Franciscoís best restaurants, Christina was ready for the challenge.