Star City Six – Erika Jensen
The Chocolate Season is a chocolate boutique and coffee cafe. Erika Jensen is the founder and owner of The Chocolate Season.
Tell us a little about your business.
We specialize in making all of our chocolates in-house and offer nationwide gift shipping. We also offer espresso drinks, hot chocolate, baked goods, and small plates. One of my favorite things is to create customized bon bons and confections from our customers’ favorite memories. That’s one of the unique things about the shop, it’s completely tailored to our customers…and seeing their reactions to that first bite is priceless.
How did you get started in the business?
For one, I was emotionally eating my new husband out of house and home. Seriously though, I was in a job that I didn’t love, and Brad encouraged me to think about what made me happy. I have always loved to bake, create, and gift food to people. It’s a love language of mine, modeled after the love (and cookies) my Grandma Hesvik gave me.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally?
My view of food can be different than those who haven’t immersed themselves in the culinary industry through travel, continuing education, etc. The need for industry exposure and sharing of knowledge is always on my mind.
What has been your most important achievement professionally?
We’ve received accolades from Stitch with the Hearst network, Google, the SBDC, Goldman-Sachs, and the Food Network. However, the most important achievements are the ones you can’t always network nationally, like when a group of ladies would drive over three hours to meet at my shop every year just to catch up on life over their favorite chocolates.
Tell us a little about your family.
My husband Brad is a fantastic photographer and graphic designer, and he’s also a small business owner. We’ve been married 13 years. Adopting two amazing kids, Theo and Annie, have been the highlights of our life together.
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? –
I love movies, foods that make me cry, and facials…but let’s be real. I’m a mom and small business owner…I love sleep!
What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know?
I failed French three times in college. (Yes, I finally passed!) I learned more language living in France for a few weeks than I did in class, and I am still trying to teach myself the language.
Who inspires you?
Julia Child. A tall gal like myself, she too was a little lost in life just trying to figure out her passion and how to pass that passion onto others.
If you had a theme song, what would it be?
“Tomorrow,” a song from my favorite movie, Annie.
If you could have a super power, what would it be?
The power to heal.
What is your favorite book or the last good book you read?
The Servant Leader by James A. Autry.
What is your favorite TV show?
Sex and the City.
What is your favorite local restaurant?
Method Cycles & Craft House.
If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be?
My Grandma Hesvik. I know she’s not famous in the traditional sense, but she is the person I admire most. She passed away when I was 16. My dream would be to have coffee with her at my shop and to bake just one more item in the kitchen together again.
If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so?