Tuesday, August 28, 2012

From Rockets to Chocolate - Finding your passion

My husband and I took a little vacation like we do every year to N. Carolina to visit his daughters.  They are both grown and in college and both are doing amazing things with their lives.  They are finding their way through this crazy world we live in and although it has not been easy at times, they have muddled through and are shining examples of what hard work and a little sacrifice will get you.  One will graduate next spring the other has three years to go, but will also being doing a 4 month study in Italy.

On this particular trip we just happened to stop in at a shop called Mountainside Chocolates that was on our way back to our hotel and just off the road.  Well, I've got to tell ya, it was one of the funnest places.  Not only were the chocolate creations and ice cream super yummy but the owners were super nice and such congenial people. We ended up hanging out and talking with them for quite a while.  Ric, had his guitar leaning on a shelf by the door and of course we started talking about music, do you play, we play, my step-daughter plays and the other sings and we started jamming right there in the shop, each taking turns.  It was a hoot.

We asked how he got into the chocolate business and he proceeded to tell us with gusto and great enthusiasm about his journey from being an engineer at Lockheed, to his retirement and how he came upon this shop through a friend of his. How he met his girlfriend who also works in the shop.  It had all come about so naturally that it appeared to be destiny.

He shared his recent experiment with us and explained some things about how chocolate really doesn't go bad, but the white substance that forms on it is not mold but it is its reversion back to sugar.  That's my simple synopses. He went into much more detail than that I just can't remember it all.  He talked about how everything is handmade right there, how he learned the skill, showed us the master recipe book.  Oh it was so informative and fun.

An interesting lesson in life.  Back around 2005 when we learned that our company had declared bankruptcy and they were going to close our factory a lot of folks were in a panic as to what the next phase of their lives would be.  I was fortunate that I could retire and I had my music and my jewelry to fall back to.  I just kept telling everyone that this was a golden opportunity to find that one thing that you'd always wanted to do but never had time.  Turn your craft into a business, go back to school, learn something totally new.  Find your passion.  A few of my work mates have and Bravo to them.  I didn't have to find mine, I already had it.

Ric, too, is an example of life after your corporate job.  Who would have ever thought that a rocket scientist would end up making chocolate delicacies in a little shop in Silva North Carolina and loving every scrumptious minute of it.  


  1. Awww... what a great story. I love little hide-a-way shops like that. It seems that the best ones I've found have always been in the mountains or the base of the mountains - good ole' country people. I so miss living in NE Georgia and the ability to jump in the car and drive an hour to Helen or the surrounding areas to spend the weekend. There's a little shop of 'this and that' but they specialize in home made sauces, peanuts, jams, etc... Some of the best lessons in life can be learned just by sitting back and listening to the older generation talk about life :) Okay, let me quit - I think I'm getting a bit too nostalgic ;) Enjoyed your post and will be back soon! Have a great weekend.

    1. Hi Tracey. I do agree that those little out of the way places are the best. We've discovered some interesting shops over the years while we've been on adventures too. One of the best cheese stores was on a trip to the northwest part of Wisconsin. My best friend and I went to visit a friend. I can't remember the name of it but oh boy oh boy was their aged cheddar cheese hands down the best I've ever had.

      Anyway, thanks for reading my blog. Enjoy your week ahead.