16 years ago my wife told me to stop traveling so much for work “or else” – so I opened a chocolate shop and have been making and selling gourmet chocolate ever since! I’m chocolatier Norman Love, AM(and my guard dog Sid)A about chocolate/pastry/b...
Hey Reddit! I’m chocolatier Norman Love of Fort Myers-based Norman Love Confections.
After working for 13 years as the executive pastry chef for Ritz-Carlton, I got tired of traveling 40+ weeks out of the year and missing out on my children growing up. I started making chocolate and selling it to local chefs and restaurants in 2001, and in 2002 USA Today somehow discovered us and named us as one of the top chocolate producers in the country and our business took off!
In the 15 years since, we’ve been fortunate enough to open 4 retail locations & a gelato shop, partner with Princess Cruises to provide chocolate and custom desserts for their “Chocolate Journeys” program, and attract some of the most talented pastry chefs in the business to work for us. I love what I do and I’d love to answer any questions you might have for me. AMA!
EDIT 1 I mentioned this somewhere in the comments, but for the record my wife never gave me any sort of ultimatum - the "or else" was meant to be a joking summary of a series of long discussions we had about trying to find a way for me to actually be able to spend time at home with my family. I've always had her full support, and if I had wanted to, I could have continued working at the Ritz for years and she would have continued raising our kids on her own. I didn't, though. I traveled so often that my kids thought I worked at the airport and that was heartbreaking.
EDIT 2 You guys are awesome and this has been a blast. I'm old and tired so I'm going to call it a night but I'll try to answer as many questions as I can when I wake up in the morning! Thanks for joining me!
EDIT 3 People are actually interested in pastry/chocolate?! This is so cool! Sid and I are just starting our day but if it's allowed I'd like to reopen this for discussion at 9 if anyone is interested? Will try to answer all your questions then.
EDIT 4 Okay, we're back! Ask us whatever you'd like: https://twitter.com/NormanLoveCandy/status/828960200539377664
EDIT 6 My pastry team is going to kill me if I don't get back in the kitchen to help them out. Thank you all SO MUCH for your interest in our company, our products, and our 8 lb. mascot. I'll try to work my way through the rest of the comments throughout the week - we're slammed with Valentine's Day coming up but I'll do my best :) thanks again everybody, have a wonderful rest of you day & week!