Sara and Kelechi are not just partners in life but partners in chocolate. The couple behind Dalloway Chocolate (named after their having met at the short-lived lesbian bar The Dalloway a little over three years ago), started out small, selling the bean-to-bar chocolates to friends and family, their company has grown to become its own entity in the past year.
“We’re a couple first and business partners second,” Sara told GO. “Without a strong foundation as a couple, our business won’t survive. Our passion is chocolate and we love building something together.”
When it comes to learning something new and diving right in, the couple does not hold back. During a vacation to Columbia in February 2016, the couple took time to visit cocoa plantations and learn more about the process.
“We are making the chocolate from scratch,” Kelechi said. “We get the beans from the Dominican Republic and create the Dalloway bars from there. The thing is, most large chocolate companies don’t know where they are sourcing their beans from. If they source from countries in Africa, the beans are often a product of child labor. Sara and I work to build relationships with the farmers who are growing our cocoa beans. We want people who are eating our chocolate feel good about the product they get.”
This Valentine’s Day, a year after the trip they took to explore their business idea in Columbia, the couple will head over to pop-up queer women’s supper club Babetown Galentines to celebrate their bars with their community. Sara and Babetown founder Alex Koones found that their paths kept crossing; it felt like fate that they were meant to collaborate on an event together.
Kelechi told GO that her favorite part of running Dalloway with Sara is when they celebrate their little wins together. Like the first time they ordered boxes for their bars and didn’t get a sample. The women met outside of Sara’s work in the middle of New York City to see if their chocolate bars would fit in the beautifully designed boxes—and they did.
“One thing we’ve been talking about is how we knew we had to differentiate ourselves,” Sara said. “We wanted to make our chocolate more approachable. Trying to learn something new can feel very intimidating, we want Dalloway to build community around chocolate.”
The women say they want their customers to feel comfortable asking questions and learning about the bean to bar process. That is why you can learn about the flavors in every bar on. Visit their blog to learn more.