The Future of Yeti Chocolates

Hello Everyone,

I know there have been a lot of you who’ve been wondering, “When is the Yeti Chocolates Cafe going to be open for business?!?”

The short answer to this – “I don’t know…”

The longer answer to this question is as follows:

I had full intentions of getting a retail front open this winter.  A co-worker of mine who I owe a huge debt of gratitude helped me write my business plan this summer for my dream retail shop.  A chocolate cafe.  A warm and inviting establishment where you can get classic espresso drinks, seasonally offered chocolates and a pastry in the morning if you arrive early enough.  It is going to be awesome.  And the numbers look promising.  Everything felt on schedule for me to resign from fire.  I even started checking out retail locations on Wenatchee Ave, the prime downtown location for setting up shop, and found an ideal location that would be available in June…

Then an unfortunate event happened that shook my world upside down and gave me an inconvenient but in reflection a necessary reality check…I discovered cracks in the grout in my shower and had to do an emergency remodel of my bathroom.  Now, I’m sure to many this doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, and in retrospect it probably wasn’t, but it gave me a lot to think about for the future.

I own my house here in Wenatchee and that at times can that can be a blessing as well as a curse.  When things break, you either call someone to come fix it if you can’t do it yourself, or if you can, you save yourself some money and do it yourself.  I chose option B for the bathroom, but it still cost me more than I planned, plus a month of the fall, when I was hoping to be spending that time straightening out my funding and making plans to possibly sign a lease and get this party started.

But it didn’t happen that way.  Instead I spent a month being stressed to the max, working on my bathroom, and it made me really think about what I’m getting into getting this business started.

Now I don’t want you to think I’m cashing in the chips on this business, because I’m not, but I think throughout the summer I was being a bit unrealistic in my dream becoming a reality, and having a major issue occur in my house brought it all home for me.  This and other scenarios kept popping into my head while working on my bathroom; “What happens when something breaks in the house when I’ve got the business up and running early on and I can’t take care of it myself because I’m working 80+ hours a week and can’t afford to pay for someone to fix it because I’m barely paying myself enough to pay my own bills?”

The intention has been to sink a ton of my own money into making this business work, to show that I’m committed to making it a success, but will I have a reserve in case the cheese hits the fan at home, or to me, or to my car?  If I started right now, the answer is no.

There are so many of you who’ve been supportive and encouraging and persistent in wanting me to start this business and for that I’m grateful.  I also know there are many who feel or think that I’m being a broken record when I say that, “I think this will be my last season in fire…”.  I’m sure many don’t think I’ll ever get this business off the ground, and hey, I’ve had those doubts myself. I sometimes feel like Atlas trudging up the hill and never getting anywhere.  It’s so stressful feeling like you’re letting everyone down because you have to hold off for one more year because it doesn’t feel right, but at the end of the day, I need to realize that I’m the only one that matters here.  I’m the only one taking the risk, and I have no one to fall back on if this business fails, I have no husband, or second income to support me if I fail.  I have me, and only me, so at the end of the day, even though it crushes me and stresses me out to no end sometimes, feeling like I’m letting everyone down because I have to tell everyone I’m putting my hopes and dreams on hold for one more year, that is what I have to do.

Starting a business is a huge risk, I know this.  And it’s one I want to take, but at the same time, am I willing to accept that if this business fails I will lose my house, my car, most likely everything I own…am I willing to accept that?  Right now – no I’m not.  I’ve lost a fair amount in the last 6 years of my life and right now I’m not in a place where I want to lose all I own as well.

There will never be a perfect time to start, there will never not be a risk, however, I want to give myself the best chance I can at reducing the possibility of losing everything if this business venture doesn’t pan out.  Put my best foot forward so to speak.

Someone once told me that you shouldn’t make a career out of something you’re passionate about because you will eventually begin to hate it, and it will ruin your passion.  I don’t necessarily disagree with this person, but at the same time, I think you need to create the best environment possible to make yourself continue to love what you do.  There are many who’ve tried to give me alternative options to get off the ground until I can make enough income to open a shop.  I know they are well intentioned and appreciated, but I know in my heart they won’t work for me in the long run.  Unfortunately, I chose one of the pickiest mediums to work with.  Chocolate is heat sensitive and takes time to make.  These two factors make many of the alternative options not really feasible.  I’ve thought through alternative options, but in the end, I’m stubborn and maybe that will be my downfall, but I would rather wait until I can pull everything together to open this retail shop, then struggle through piecing other options together and make myself miserable in the process.  Because that will make me turn on my passion, and it’s not something I’m willing to do.  I know that there will be times when the shop will be open and I will be working long hours and have no life and probably be miserable, but it will be in the environment I wanted and created, and therefore the sacrifice will be worth it.  I’m sure this doesn’t make a lot of sense to many of you, but that’s ok.

At the end of the day, I need to take the risk to start a business when the time is right for me, be confident that the risk is worth the reward, set myself up for the greatest possible success, and right now is not that time.  I know that when I go into the bank, even though I have excellent credit and a killer business plan, they are going to look at my debt to income ratio and laugh me out the door.  So I need to explore other options for funding, and find ways to lower my own personal debt.  This might require me to wait a little longer to get things going, seek other funding opportunities, and put things on hold to do so, maybe for a couple more years.  And that is ok.  I need to be ok with that and accept that this news is going to be disappointing to a lot of people.

I’m not giving up, I’m just being realistic.

I hope you all understand.

Thank you for taking the time to read my monologue.


2015 Holiday Chocolates

Hello Everyone,

Well I’m back from another season of fighting fires in Wyoming and getting excited for the holiday chocolate season which is just around the corner.  I think I’ve put together a good line up for this season’s chocolate desires, so let’s check them out!

Smith 'n Wesson

Smith ‘n Wesson: White chocolate Kahlua is layered with milk chocolate espresso. Coffee with kickback!

Salty Carmelicious

Salty Carmelicious: Fleur de sel is blended in a lucious caramel that will make it impossible to resist!

Devils Passion

Devils Passion: Give into the forbidden with this unearthly delight. White chocolate passionfruit is paired with dark chocolate vanilla bean.

Lemon Cardamom

Lemon Cardamom: The unique flavor of cardamom is paired with lemon in a white chocolate butter ganache to create this refreshing chocolate.

Masala Chai_new

Masala Chai: Indulge in the flavors of India with this dark chocolate dairy-free ganache infused with homemade masala chai.


The salty caramelicious will be offered in both milk and dark chocolate.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and is looking forward to the upcoming holiday season!

2015 Valentine Chocolates

Hello Everyone!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and a great New Year so far.  It is now time to unveil the 2015 Valentine chocolates.  This will be the last time I’ll be making chocolates until next winter, so even though you may not be the type who buys into Valentine’s day, you might like to buy into to being a Yeti Chocolates lover.

Here’s the chocolate selection:

Other goodies will include:


The yummy bacon bark.  I like to call it the perfect “man candy”.  Hempler’s fresh slab bacon and alder smoked sea salt are paired perfectly on a dark milk chocolate.



Strawberry sour jellies.



Thanks for taking an interest in my chocolates!

2014 Holiday Chocolates are here!

The time has come to unveil the 2014 Holiday chocolates.  I hope you enjoy the flavors I’ve chosen.


Chocolate Flavors Pt. 2

Smith n’ Wesson – One layer white chocolate Kahlua, one layer milk chocolate espresso.  The favorite of those coffee lovers.

Divine Lime

Divine Lime – This zesty delight is back again after a couple year hiatus.  White chocolate is combine with lime zest and lime juice with a bold flavor that will make you pucker.


Hazelwings – The Ferrero Rocher of Yeti Chocolates world. Milk chocolate Frangelico is dipped in dark chocolate and rolled in ground Hazelnuts.


Irish Kiss – NEW! A new flavor inspired by the Emerald Isle.  Irish Creme Liqueur is combined with milk chocolate to leave you dreaming fields of green.


Hob Nog – The Hob Nog is back again this holiday season.  Homemade egg nog is paired with white chocolate that will make you want to don a holiday sweater and sit by a warm fire.

O Canada

O Canada – A tribute to our neighbors to the north! A maple pecan caramel so luscious it will make you want to don some flannel or play some hockey!



Peppermint Bark –  Dark chocolate is mixed with crushed candy canes and peppermint oil with more crushed candy canes on top.


Nibby Bark – Cocoa nibs are paired with dark chocolate.



I hope you’ve enjoyed the line-up for the holiday chocolates, and as always, your comments are welcome!  Thanks!

Let’s Talk Preservatives, or Lack There Of

Hello Everyone,

I just received a bit of disheartening mail that has made me decide that a bit of chat needs to go on about preservatives, and what constitutes a preservative.

I won’t go into the details of the message I received, other than to say that my chocolates were thrown out by someone because I have glucose as one of my ingredients, and said person does not eat that “garbage”, and knows from other chocolate companies that this person has purchased from that glucose is not a necessary ingredient.

Now, I want to point out a pretty big distinction between the chocolate this person is referring to and what I do.  The majority of chocolate that is made by the chocolate companies that were mentioned by this person are bars.

I don’t make bars, at least not yet.  I make truffles, bon bons, confections, whatever you like to call them. Chocolates that contain ganache, the delicious chocolate and cream or chocolate and butter or chocolate and coconut milk or chocolate and water – blended filling that so many of us enjoy.

The main difference between bars and bon bons, is that bars are just chocolate with maybe some spices, nuts, herbs, oils, dried fruits, etc. mixed in.  The amount of free water available for mold growth in a bar is incredibly low, and therefore, there is no need to add any additional preservative.

Bon bons, or the confections that I make, typically are made with cream, which raises the amount of free water available considerably.  If I did not tie up some of that free water with some sort of preservative, the shelf life would probably only be a week or so.

To tack onto the point I made in my conversation about shelf life in one my previous posts, the best way to extend shelf life is to reduce the amount of free water available for bacteria and molds to latch onto.  The best way to “naturally” do this is with glucose.  There are a lot of other preservatives out there, like sorbitol, sorbic acid, sulfites, nitrates, etc.  I’m sure the list goes on, but that’s just a few to start with.

I like to pride myself in using no artificial preservatives in my chocolates, because I feel that reduces the quality, and I’d rather sell a chocolate with a higher quality and a shorter shelf life than vice versa.  That is why I use glucose in my chocolates.  It’s just simply sugar that binds free water without imposing any flavor or chemical alterations to the chocolates.  And, since glucose is what fuels our bodies, it’s one less thing our bodies have to break down to give us energy, if you want to think of it that way.

I guess the moral of the story is that I will not be able to please everyone with my confections and I accept that.  Someone will be displeased at some point or another, whether it be that I don’t make sugar free chocolates, or that I use glucose as a preservative, or because I don’t by fair trade, organic chocolate, etc.  You get the point.

Honestly, I would like to thank said person for clueing me into the fact that many might not have known exactly why glucose was an ingredient in my chocolates, and why it’s not a component of bar chocolates sold by a lot of other high end chocolatiers.

I just hope this post will provide a new bit of knowledge people can take away so that when someone starts in on the fact a chocolate is “garbage” because it contains glucose, you can educate them on actually why it is not.

2014 Valentine’s Chocolates Are Here!

Hello Everyone!

Let’s get to the good stuff, the chocolates!

One quick note about the Ginger, it has a new name and will have a new face! I’m sure there will be many who will not understand the name “Ginger Dogg” and I’ll probably have to change it eventually due to the reference to Snoop Dogg, but I’m just going to revel in it for the moment.  Here’s the story of why I renamed it…when I was in culinary school I decided I wanted to make a ginger flavored chocolate, so I took fresh ginger and juiced it in this crazy strong commercial juicer, which created a full glass of “ginger juice”. When I brought it back to the candy lab my chef started singing “Rollin’ down the street, sippin’ on ginger juice”. I thought it was such a great pun that whenever I make this chocolate that is always what I sing in my head. Therefore I decided to throw caution to the wind and rename the chocolate. Now you too can think of that song when you’re eating the Ginger Dogg.


Thanks for viewing!


“Best Before”: A Guide to Yeti Chocolates Shelf Life

Well the Christmas rush is over, and this by far was the busiest I’ve ever been for any holiday I’ve made chocolates for…by far! A little underprepared, which caused a few scrambles here and there. Thankfully only one shipping snafu, though one is definitely less than desirable, but better one than two or five.  I came out of the holiday season extremely exhausted, exhilarated, and with a whole new toolset of slides to use in future of things that went really well, and things to change.  I can say that I’m already in the advanced planning/prep stages for Valentine’s day (I feel like a grocery store, I already had my Valentine’s menu planned and it wasn’t even New Years!).  But I guess that’s what you have to do to stay ahead of the game.

However I digress, let’s get back on track with the topic at hand…shelf life of Yeti Chocolates.

During the holiday season, and really every time I make chocolates, the issue of shelf life comes in to play.  With good reason I suppose, as no one wants to eat a moldy chocolate.  And trust me, I don’t want to sell one either.  That is why I generally err on the side of caution when writing the “Best Before” date on my chocolate boxes.

The problem is that people are so conditioned at seeing a date and thinking that once that date passes they cannot eat the product.  That is not always the case.  And there are times that a product will have a date listed and expire before that date comes to pass.  I actually had that happen to me this morning with a carton of cream, the date said 1/24/14, but it was definitely not probably acceptable to consume (even though I did as to not waste a good expensive cup of Stumptown coffee).

The problem I have with putting an expiration date on my chocolates is that every one of them has a different shelf life, which makes it tricky to pin point exactly when they will go bad.  That is why I put “Best Before” versus “Expires On” or “Sell By”, simply because I’m giving you a guideline with which I feel is around the optimal date with which you should eat your chocolates.  Are they immediately going to go bad the day after the “Best Before” date? Of course not.  But I’m trying to also make it known that you shouldn’t wait 6 months before you eat them either.

We have become pretty accustomed to Twinkies, canned goods, and highly preserved foods that give us this false sense of security that all of our food has this amazingly long shelf life.  But what you need to remember is that like fresh vegetables and fruit, my chocolates have a shorter shelf because they aren’t filled with a ton of preservatives. And if I used them they may make them last longer, but probably won’t make them taste as good.

Another thing to remember is that unlike that Hersey(TM) bar at the store that will probably last 6-12 months, these are truffles/bonbons/filled chocolates, and it’s the ganache (the yummy center) that makes them less shelf stable.

Why is this? Well it’s due to (Aw) or water activity level.  What is water activity level to the non-scientific population?  Well, simply put, it’s the amount of free water available in a ganache that can sustain mold growth.  The more water available for mold/bacterial growth, the shorter the shelf life.  There are many ways to reduce the free water in ganaches, using butter over cream, using invert sugars or glucose to bind the free water, using artificial preservatives, etc.

Given that I’m trying to create the freshest, most delicious chocolate possible, I have made the choice of not using any artificial preservatives in my chocolates.  I sacrifice shelf life over taste, which most people seem to appreciate. But there are many out there who baulk a bit when I tell them my chocolates only have a 2-3 week shelf life, but I feel it creates a higher quality product that I’m proud to provide to my customers.

Based on the research I’ve done, and I’m currently doing my own little experiment, the shelf life of the less shelf stable chocolates (primarily cream or water based ganaches) is up to 12 weeks before mold growth is present.  Do I recommend you wait 12 weeks before eating your chocolates? Heck NO! I mean, why would you even want to wait that long to eat chocolates anyway.  I’m more of the proponent of once they are purchased or have arrived on your door step, savor, savor, savor, and maybe try and hold out from consuming the entire box in one sitting, at least try and have two sittings before they are all gone.

I know this has turned into a saga of epic proportions, but to recap what I want you to take away from this is that the “Best Before” date written on the bottom of the box is not an expiration date, but more of a guideline with which you base your own chocolate eating adventure timeline.  Don’t wait 6 months from the date, but try and consume within a week or two of the date…though I’ll admit I’ve eaten them a month after the date and they’ve been fine; not their peak by any means, but still palatable. Remember! I’d rather you eat them when they are at their peak of freshness.

And if you’re curious which chocolates have a shorter versus longer shelf life, shoot me an email at and I’ll give you a detailed list of what types are each of the chocolates (cream ganache, butter ganache, caramel, coconut milk ganache, etc) and their estimated shelf life.

Stay tuned in the next couple weeks for the Valentine’s menu and some more exciting developments in Yeti Chocolates!

2013 Holiday Chocolates!

Hello Everyone,

The time has come when you’re still feeling a bit stuffed from Thanksgiving, you may have a few bruises from elbowing your way to that special deal you couldn’t live without on Black Friday, and realizing that you just spent more than enough time with family and have to do it all over again in a few weeks.  What will make all this better? Chocolates, of course!

The holiday line up has arrived for your viewing pleasure:

There are also some other goodies available this holiday season worth mentioning:

Dark chocolate dipped peppermint marshmallows – Want a sophisticated addition to your hot cocoa on a cold winter’s night? Then try some of these! And they are dairy free for all you lactose intolerant folks out there!

Sweet ‘n’ Spicy Nuts – A delicious sweet and salty blend of peanuts, walnuts, cashews, pecans, hazelnuts, caramelized and then tossed in a delicious mix of salt, cayenne, rosemary and butter.  Yum, yum!

I hope you enjoyed the line up for Christmas, and I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season!


Hey Everyone,

Just wanted to do a little Halloween tribute in pictures of the chocolates I made for Halloween.  For those that follow the blog and ordered, a million thanks are sent your way, I was definitely A LOT busier than I expected to be!

So here they are, the Halloween chocolates, for your viewing pleasure:


I like this photo style, makes the chocolates look slightly creepy, perfect for Halloween

The chocolates in color, Caramel Apple bottom left, Nutty fluff top right, Pumpkin spice bottom right

The chocolates in color, Caramel Apple bottom left, Nutty fluff top right, Pumpkin spice bottom right


That's alotta chocolates! (And these were just the ones I shipped out!)

                 That’s alotta chocolates! (And these were just the ones I shipped out!)


Here's a close-up of the packaging I used this go around

                             Here’s a close-up of the packaging I used this go around


Well, there you have it, a little “Boo-tiful bites” (in pictures) just in time for Halloween.  I hope you enjoyed the Halloween chocolate picture gallery, and you all have a goulishly good time tonight!

Stay tuned as I have a chocolate workshop I will be putting on November 10th, and of course the holidays are just around the corner, so I will have the holiday selection up in no time!


Back in Action, Just in Time for Halloween!!!

Hello All,

Well it’s been a year of many changes for me, most of which have been great.  I bought a new house this spring, took a new job in beautiful Jackson, WY, bought a new car…just to name a few.  2013 has been a great year which I hope continues through the it’s course to 2014.

One bump in the road, depending on you look at it, was that my season working in Jackson was cut short due to the government shut down.  I’m sure everyone has felt the pinch of this shut down, and I felt it first hand, when discovering the day of the shut down that myself and my co-workers were not essential employees that we had been told we were the day before, but furloughed.  At the time I was pretty upset, for many reasons, but have decided to look at the silver lining this shut down has provided me; that I got to come home to my new house 3 weeks earlier than I planned…and that I get to start making chocolates sooner.

For those of you who don’t know me (and I’m sure there are many who read this blog that don’t, which is awesome!) Halloween is my FAVORITE holiday.  If they had to nix all the holidays save for one, Halloween is the holiday I would choose to stay.  Most would probably disagree with me, which is fine, but really, what’s more fun than to dress up in something ridiculous and enjoy a party with all your other friends dressed in equally ridiculous costumes.  It’s awesome!

That’s why when I friend mentioned that I should make Halloween chocolates, though I hesitated at first because I felt I would have too much to do when I got home, the more I thought about it, I realized that I’d be an idiot to not pay homage with chocolates for my all time favorite holiday.

The fun part about this is that I’m completely mixing it up this go around.  I’m only offering one box size, with the option of buying 3 and getting 1 for free, since 3&1= 31, which is a clever play on Halloween.

As for the flavors, I’m only offering 3, a pumpkin spice in a jack-o-lantern mold, my nutty fluff in a peanut butter cup mold, and my caramel apple in a dome mold, 3 flavors that I feel are pretty fitting for the occasion.  They will be packaged in a 3ct. box – it’s like a sophisticated fun sized treat for that grown up kid at heart, even if that’s you!

So stay tuned for pics, and if you’re interested in purchasing any of these boo-tiful bites, email me at