Telluride Truffle® began in November, 1997. Well actually, that is when the first truffle was sold. For 6 months before that I was testing different flavorings and giving them to my roommate to judge. She was about 5’6 and 100 pounds and had an unbelievable ability to eat 10 truffles at one sitting. Of course she was a raving lunatic after eating that many – sugar buzz and all, so I don’t recommend doing that … ever. But she was great to have around when you wanted feedback.
The idea for Telluride Truffle® began way before that – when I was the assistant pastry chef at a 4 star hotel in Telluride. The pastry chef at the time (a mad man with a sweet heart) taught me how to make truffles or his rendition of them. Later, after leaving that profession to become one of the managers of a ski school, I would whip up truffles flavored with Jack Daniel’s to take to potlucks (a favorite pasttime of locals here.) My friends raved about them and told me to start selling them, but since they were friends, I thought they were greatly biased.
So, one summer evening, I took truffles to a very big party where I didn’t know many people. People were asking who made these chocolate things and then finally some guy yelled, holding one up in the air (the room was packed) “who made this?” I figured maybe I should look into this idea of selling them. I had always wanted to start a business – I come from a long line of entrepreneurs – father, brother, grandfather – you get the idea. So – I got some good Belgian chocolate and started experimenting.
Finally I was ready. I packaged them in a little white box with a red ribbon and a chocolate colored tag and went to town during my lunch break with 20 boxes in my backpack and a tray of samples. I went to
one real estate office after another. And if you’ve ever been to a ski town, you know we have quite a few of these. Actually I only made it to about five of them – everyone who tried one, bought a box or two. I was so thrilled and shocked really – you just can’t imagine. I had one more box left and, feeling very empowered by all the good comments, I timidly walked into one of the very best gift stores in town and asked if she would be interested. She took a bite and wanted to know how fast I could get them to her. I went back to work floating. By golly, I thought, this may just work. A good friend of mine very generously rented me her commercial kitchen for a pittance of money and I began making the truffles in quantity.
That was over two decades ago. And the business has increased every year. I’ve been told more than once, and by people who should know, that these are the best truffles they’ve ever had. I have a great deal of respect for many other chocolatiers so I take their comments with MUCH appreciation and humility. Maybe it’s the loving energy I put into them that make them so good.
They are fresh. In fact because they do not have waxes or preservatives, they only have a shelf life of 1 month. I and my employees care a great deal about every truffle we make. I sincerely hope you like them as much as I do — and yes, I still eat them. I’ve eaten a great deal of these over the last two decades and I STILL love them – really …. I’m not just saying that.
Owner & Chocolatier