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As Valentine’s Day approaches, who better to interview than a sweetheart of a woman, who makes it her business to promote chocolate, Grace Lissauer of The Chocolate Nation.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t really give much thought to chocolate beyond ‘Wow, that’s good!’ But apparently, the study of chocolate, and the appreciation for chocolate, goes well beyond my pedestrian tastes.
And, as owner of The Chocolate Nation, Ms. Lissauer makes it her business to find every chocolate lover’s sweet spot and fill it.
Even if you don’t love chocolate, you probably know someone who does, which is why it’s such big business and why, after spending most of her working years trotting the globe for the fashion industry, Lissauer fashioned herself a new business, finding and featuring the best of the best artisanal treats, made only in the US.
‘Give-A-Listen’ – Grace Lissauer: The Chocolate Nation (14:12):
If you cannot hear the interview, click here.
One of the most interesting things about my interview with Grace Lissauer was not about the growth of her business per se, as much as it was about the personal growth she experienced in taking that business from idea to reality.
Lissauer takes us along on a journey, a slow transition (:24) she says, that began when her mother fell ill, prompting her to take a closer look at her ‘core values and beliefs’. (1:12)
At that time, Lissauer says, she didn’t feel as though she was growing in her work as she had been earlier in her career. There were ‘missing pieces’, she says, (1:30) though she couldn’t really identify what they were.
So, Lissauer began working with a career coach and together they explored a number of possiblities and specialty businesses — including champagne, she jokes, but it was ‘too complicated’ and ‘I just liked to drink it’ (2:26).
This exploration eventually ‘evolved’ to chocolate because as it turns out, Lissauer says chocolate had long been part of her family heritage, it ‘felt right’ and there was a ‘huge void’ (4:00) in the US market.
From that point forward, Lissauer says she spent morning, noon and night giving birth to The Chocolate Nation, which began as a website, but has since grown to include a ‘chocolate concierge’ and Lissauer has become the go-to gal for coordinating a variety of specialty chocolate events.
The experience of building her own business Lissauer says, is something that ‘just kind of takes hold of you’. (5:00)
Now, two years into her entrepreneurial venture, Lissauer says, although she has specific goals, she remains open to the possibilities of where this journey may take her. (9:20)
Most important, for those who are contemplating a career change, Lissauer gives an initimate account of just what it takes to not only think your way through, but also to feel your way through (12:00) so that you, too, can enjoy ‘sweet success’, and find your true love!
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All Give-A-Listen interviews benefit the guest’s non-profit of choice. At Grace Lissauer’s request, a ParmFarm donation has been made to the Women’s Heart Foundation.
All donations are made possible by Friends of the Farm.
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