FROM CHAMPAGNE TO CHOCOLATE OR, HOW WE GOT HERE FROM HERE TO THERE
When Woodhouse Chocolate founders Tracy Wood Anderson and John Anderson look back on their lives, it seems inevitable that they would one day become chocolatiers. John and Tracy's path to making fine chocolates began decades ago as teenagers in Europe.
As students abroad in England they had the opportunity to travel throughout Europe where they tasted their first fine chocolates. It was a revelation.
The chocolates John and Tracy experienced there were nothing like the candy bars of home. Impossible to find chocolates of this quality in the U.S., the Andersons were forced to return periodically to Belgium, France, Italy, you name it, to satisfy their chocolate urges. (It was tough.)
Between trips to Europe, Tracy earned a culinary degree, John and Tracy had two daughters and both helped John's parents create a winery and vineyard of the highest quality, producing award winning Chardonnay, Cabernet, Merlot and most personal of all, Sparkling Wines. Nearly twenty years later, that part of their souls that needed to make wine was fulfilled and they decided to retire from winemaking.
What to do now? The Andersons began to notice some patterns in their lives; chocolate, chocolate, and then there was also chocolate. Tracy had the champagne blender's palate for flavors, the culinary background and the desire for fabulous chocolate without a thirteen hour plane flight involved. John had the business background, the willingness to renovate an old building and also the desire for fabulous chocolate. It all fit.
They spent two years immersed in chocolate. Tracy took every course she could find on chocolate and her home kitchen was transformed into a chocolate laboratoire. John created the physical space for their shop and kitchen just blocks from their home, in which it all sits today, as well as putting his valuable palate to work in the development of their chocolates.
The Andersons chose the elephant as their symbol for many reasons. First of all, Tracy just happens to like elephants and has them all over their home in various artistic forms. Most interestingly, however, is the fact that almost every culture around the globe has some positive form of elephant symbolism. The elephant can symbolize any or all of these aspects: success and prosperity, dignity, power, good fortune, happiness, inner peace, image of enlightenment, wisdom, wealth, fine food and luxury. In India, Ganesha is the God of opening the way, the gateway to the divine. They couldn't have asked for more.
John and Tracy Anderson desired a vocation that they cared about deeply, that was close to home and that included their family. Woodhouse Chocolate is the realization of that dream.