Inspiring memorable moments with our chocolate. Help us create more with a sustainable cocoa program & education center. Read more
This project's funding goal was not reached on November 21, 2013.
About this project
One of my goals for Delysia Chocolatier is to create a truly one-of-a-kind chocolate experience that begins from the moment I choose where my cocoa comes from. Finding ethically-harvested and sustainably-sourced cocoa plantations is a challenge.
With the assistance of our supplier's Responsible Cocoa program, Delysia will be the first in Texas – and one of very few in the U.S. – to have a complete product line using ethically and sustainably-sourced chocolate.
But my search for the freshest ingredients won't stop there. I will continue to build my partnerships so I can use more local ingredients in my chocolates whenever possible. The path from farm-to-table should be the shortest possible. The funds I raise through Kickstarter will enable us to do our part. This is my promise to you.
Delysia is more than a chocolatier. We make every moment of every day exceptional. We pride ourselves in making the finest handcrafted and award-winning specialty confections, designed specifically for our customers.
We create chocolates for every palette – from the traditional to the funky & unique. Have you ever had chocolate created with BBQ sauce? Well, we made some – creating truffles using The Salt Lick BBQ’s barbeque sauces, as well as an award-winning chocolate bark made with the same dry rub used on their brisket and ribs. How about ghost peppers and pop rocks in chocolate? This truffle flavor was an absolute hit at the Austin Food and Wine Festival – a flavor combination that delighted festival attendees such as celebrity chef, Tim Love and 2008 US Olympic Gold Medalist, Garrett Weber-Gale.
After building from the ground up for the past five years, Delysia is ready to grow. But we need your help to get there. Our goal is to raise $55,000 (or more) to complete construction on a unique space that will function as both our production kitchen and a chocolate education center. This dual-purpose space will allow us to create new chocolate products and flavors, as well as teach hands-on chocolate educational courses, host chocolate tasting and food pairing classes, and throw chocolate-themed movie screening events.
Delysia had enough to get started – the space, the design, and the initial investment – but much more is needed to make our dream a reality. Construction has started on our new space, but the project needs funding to reach completion by early 2014. Your Kickstarter investment will allow us to create a one-of-a-kind chocolate experience. By sharing our knowledge on the best way to taste and enjoy chocolate, we will turn even more everyday moments into exceptional ones. And the expanded kitchen space will allow us to continue experimenting with additional unique flavors, something that has been Delysia’s signature from the beginning.
In addition, the funds will enable us to establish a partnership with one of the world’s largest ethical cocoa manufacturers. Your support will establish Delysia as the first in Texas – and one of very few in the U.S. – to have a complete product line using ethically and sustainably-sourced chocolate.
For us here at Delysia Chocolatier, it's about more than the chocolate – it is about creating memories and experiences.
Delysia Chocolatier is a chocolate company with a unique philosophy. Our tagline, For life’s every occasion is the essence of Delysia. Woman-owned and operated, Delysia Chocolatier is an artisan chocolate company based in Austin, Texas offering a variety of products. We partner with vineyards and other establishments – such as the world-famous Salt Lick BBQ, Becker Vineyards, and Franklin Barbecue – to incorporate their products into a special line of chocolate creations. Delysia is even the official chocolatier of the Circuit of the Americas – the only Formula 1 race track in the U.S.
Truffles are the essence of luxury. Delysia’s truffles are handmade with the finest quality ingredients using the same process developed by French culinary genius Auguste Escoffier more than 90 years ago. Delysia Chocolatier uses unique flavor-combinations such as wasabi raspberry, curry, and tequila jalapeño to create exceptional confections that enhance any and every occasion, from your big day to the everyday. Many of our products are kosher and gluten-free. And with your support, soon our chocolate will come from ethically-sourced plantations.
Delysia Chocolatier has received numerous international awards and media recognition by prestigious publications, but the company has humble beginnings. Delysia was built on the determination of a woman with a dream ... not to mention a full-time job and a family!
Who is Delysia Chocolatier?
I’m Nicole Patel, Delysia’s owner and chocolatier.
I am the mother of two beautiful little boys. I am the wife of the most supportive and loving husband possible. I am the sister of the most talented man I know, who threw his heart and soul into creating the branding for Delysia Chocolatier. I am the daughter of a United States Air Force Officer who graduated from the Air Force Academy and married my mother thirty-odd years ago. I reside in Austin, was born in Philadelphia, and was raised in New Jersey and Maryland. I have friends and family located across the globe, from Florida and Washington State to Germany, Belgium, and India. I studied industrial engineering at Texas A&M University receiving both Bachelors and Masters Degrees. I worked in corporate America for both large and small companies. I studied and earned a Six Sigma Master Black Belt certification from Motorola after only five years in the workforce, running the corporate program for Freescale Semiconductor until 2009.
My career is engineering. My love is my family. My passion is creating remarkable chocolate. I can’t explain why life led me down this path … but five years ago I embarked on an unknown adventure as an entrepreneur. And I’m glad I did.
In 2006, when I was pregnant with my first son, Sébastien, the seed for Delysia Chocolatier was planted. Too exhausted for the madness of holiday shopping, I whipped up a batch of homemade chocolate truffles as last-minute holiday gifts. I had no idea how popular those chocolate creations would be or how much that one evening in the kitchen would change my life.
Over the next several months, I ended up in the kitchen more and more, indulging in my passion for baking in order to relieve stress from my full-time corporate engineering job. My husband, Rahul, joked that I should just start selling all of those chocolate truffles I was making. Little did he know what he was suggesting.
In 2008, I found inspiration on a trip to Texas Wine Country by establishing a partnership with Becker Vineyards near Fredericksburg, Texas. We became the first confectioner in Texas to use local wines to create chocolate truffles, offering a truly extraordinary experience. We made our first delivery to Becker Vineyards in October of 2008 and Delysia Chocolatier was born.
Just a few months after that, I found myself unemployed and five months’ pregnant with my second son, Colin. Crying to Rahul after losing my job, he told me the right words I needed to hear to get motivated: “You're going to be just fine. Get up tomorrow and build that business.”
And that’s just what I did. With the encouraging words of Rahul fresh in my ear, and inspiration from my previous trips to Europe, I spent the next year-and-a-half dedicating myself to learning the skills necessary for running a successful business, all the while experimenting with new flavors and techniques in a shared kitchen space. My dream of becoming my own boss was becoming a reality.
When Delysia Chocolatier was launched in 2008, our vision was very limited – a wedding here, a winery delivery there. But that quickly changed. On our second anniversary, much to our amazement, the phone started ringing. The word was getting out, with great demand for our products. In addition to inquiries about where to buy our chocolates, we were receiving requests for tours and chocolate-making demonstrations. At events, customers would ask if they could visit our space and learn more about chocolate. We attributed this success to the exceptional quality of our chocolate and our attention to detail in everything we do.
It was Valentine’s Day 2010 when Rahul and I realized we were truly onto something. I had spent the entire two weeks leading up to the holiday making truffles, averaging about 4-hours of sleep a day, all while being a good mom to two little boys. Rahul and I both agreed that I needed more space to keep up with the growing demands. Rented space in a borrowed kitchen wasn’t going to support my vision for Delysia: to have my own production kitchen and to establish a chocolate educational center that allowed me to share my knowledge and love for chocolate with students of all ages.
For two years, we searched for the perfect place. Meanwhile, Delysia was exploding – revenues tripled in the first, second, and fourth quarter of 2010 compared to the previous year. After a long search, we were able to purchase, with cash, the ideal property to serve as Delysia’s commercial kitchen and educational center: a 2000-square-foot warehouse minutes from downtown Austin, Texas. Delysia has been a family company from the start and with final sketches by my talented brother, the design of the facility is no exception.
Once completed, the production kitchen will allow us to continue to develop unique custom flavors that are the trademark of Delysia Chocolatier. The facility will also serve as a meeting place for clients and a space for hosting chocolate-themed movie screenings and supper clubs. Additionally, Delysia will have a location for teaching chocolate-lovers everywhere how to pair chocolate with different foods, the history and diversity of chocolate, how to host a chocolate pairing party and other courses. Our plan is to offer classes both in-person and via Skype. Our Kickstarter backers in the Reveler, Gourmand, Epicure, Honorary Chocolatier, and Connoisseur levels will be the first to experience Delysia’s unique chocolate education center before we open our courses to the general public.
Our Own Space
Construction is underway. Walls have been torn out and re-built. We've reconditioned an empty warehouse into a usable space including production kitchen and education center, event and conference room, offices, and cooling storeroom. Though I have left the construction in the hands of a contractor, I am extremely involved in all aspects of the process. I configured the kitchen layout, made many trips to the hardware store, and actively comparison-shopped for materials and equipment. We have made significant progress but we need assistance to finish the project.
That’s where Kickstarter, and you, come in.
Delysia Chocolatier has taken the necessary steps to ensure we will meet our production deadlines quickly after occupancy. But there is still a lot of work to be done. Building supplies, commercial-grade appliances, new tempering equipment, course materials, countertops and cabinets, electrical wiring, plumbing, a security system, flooring, a demo equipment, and insulation materials all need to be purchased and installed.
Additionally, we will use the funds to create a partnership with a courveture company as part of their Fair Trade & Responsible Cocoa program. With the money raised from this Kickstarter campaign, we will finally be able to ensure our chocolate is sourced from socially, environmentally, and ethically acceptable plantations.
This Kickstarter campaign allows us to offer enticing chocolate experiences that wouldn't otherwise be possible, such as:
- Create and design your own truffle flavor during a private chocolate-making lesson with our chocolatier. Your truffle creation becomes a flavor in the special limited-edition Kickstarter truffle collection.
- A Five-course gourmet dinner at our new facility with a top Austin chef
- A private screening of Chocolat and chocolate instructional course for you and five of your friends
- A Chocolat inspired truffle collection and thank you signed by Johnny Depp
- Our eternal gratitude
For details on these and other rewards, please view our pledge levels in the right column of this page.
Who We Are
From our handmade chocolate truffles to our elegant chocolate menus, Delysia offers a wide assortment of gourmet chocolate products. We develop notable flavors and personalized designs, creating something distinctly unique, something distinctly you. We use fine quality chocolate and only the freshest ingredients so you can enjoy chocolate near perfection.
- Truffles: Our truffles are handmade in the Parisian style using only the finest chocolate and the freshest ingredients in a wide array of flavors.
- Chocolate Bark: We blend unique ingredients like Texas lavender or pecan cayenne with succulent chocolate to make delicious bark.
- Chocolate Mix: We grind pure chocolate into chunks so it blends smoothly, providing the richest, creamiest flavor possible.
- Specialty Confections: These sweet confections extend our selection of goodness. Gianduja is a rare Italian confection blending hazelnut and almond paste with rich chocolate, while our fluffy marshmallows are handmade to melt in your mouth in a variety of flavors.
- Molded Chocolate: Purest white, milk, or dark chocolate molded into elegant forms for any occasion.
- Occasions: For a bride and groom’s special day, we create notable flavors, personalized designs, molded chocolate menus, and chocolate bride and groom cake crowns for an award-winning personalized touch to make any wedding spectacular.
- Corporate and Custom Products: For unique corporate gifts, Delysia can create a customized two-piece, nine-piece or 30-piece truffle set featuring a corporate logo or brand identity. These sets are ideal as end-of-the-year thank you gifts or as favors for company galas, gatherings and award ceremonies. Custom four-ounce or twelve-ounce molded chocolate blocks featuring corporate identity are also an option for the perfect company gift.
Delysia Chocolatier’s award-winning chocolate truffles continue to gain notoriety worldwide. We have been featured in Wine Spectator magazine, bridal publications like The Bridal Guide, and lifestyle sites such as Daily Candy.
Wine Spectator featured our wine truffles stating, “[The wine truffles are] balanced; the wine is there, but does not dominate. The chocolate is sweet and good.” Our first international print exposure came in the “We Heart Details” section of U.K. Brides Magazine, making Delysia the only non-European company to be featured on those covetous pages. Our cayenne hot chocolate, specialty truffles, and chocolate menus have been seen on DailyCandy, the go-to web guide for the best in fashion, food, and beauty.
To view more of Delysia Chocolatier's press coverage, please visit our Press page.
For media inquiries, please visit our Media page.
We were recently named one of the 2013 Best Chocolatiers and Confectioners of America by the International Chocolate Salon and Taste TV. The powerful warmth of our jalapeño tequila truffle awarded us a World Finalist ranking at the 2012 International Chocolate Awards and advancement to the London Chocolate Festival’s International Chocolate Awards World Competition.
In addition, Delysia won several awards from the 2013 International Chocolate Salon and Taste TV in their Bridal, White Chocolate, and Top Chocolate Bar competitions. At the 2013 International Chocolate Awards, our sweet tea vodka truffle qualified as a World Finalist and hopefully will secure us a coveted spot to once again compete internationally at the London Chocolate Festival.
To view more of Delysia Chocolatier's awards and accolades, please visit our Accolades page.
Every occasion and every day should be exceptional. Whether it is a girls’ day out, a family gathering, or your big moment, there is always a reason for chocolate. It is not just about the chocolate. It is about the way you feel, how you bring friends and family together, and the memories you create.
At Delysia Chocolatier, we see ourselves as more than just a chocolatier. We create experiences. And these experiences make every day and any day extraordinary. Just like you, we understand the importance of being unique. Our chocolates are just that. They are exceptional. They are memorable. They are remarkable.
My family and I have put our lives into building the Delysia Chocolatier business and creating memorable moments with our exceptional products. The $55,000 raised through this Kickstarter campaign will secure Delysia’s ability to grow into more than just a local chocolate company.
We’ve put together some amazing rewards to show our backers how grateful we are for their help. Not only do we want to share our products with the world, but we want to share our knowledge as well. We just need your support to allow us to do so.
Your contributions will allow Delysia to turn our exceptional, memorable, and remarkable products into sustainable, ethical, and educational experiences.
Unless otherwise stated, photos are courtesy of Thompson Poole Photography.
Risks and challenges
The entrepreneurial spirit of Kickstarter fosters the dreams of people like us who yearn to be our own boss. After working in corporate America for so many years, I am more than ready to accept the challenge that running a small business undoubtedly provides. To me, ownership of Delysia Chocolatier means making decisions without having to worry what my investors think. That’s why I chose to raise funds with Kickstarter; to share my passion for making handcrafted chocolate and sharing my chocolate knowledge with those who genuinely appreciate the pursuit of a dream.
With a construction project, we know that there is always the potential for unexpected snags. But we are prepared for them. Our goal is to have construction completed by early 2014 so we can begin hosting our backer events in the spring. We have already started the remodeling and will continue to work on the space diligently.
We appreciate the support of our fans and backers. As with any business transitioning to a revitalized space, there is a possibility that we will experience delays in the current delivery timelines. Despite that risk, every backer of this project will receive their rewards in a timely manner. Of course, we will always keep you informed if things take longer than expected. Excellent customer interaction is the lifeblood of Delysia Chocolatier. We are committed to keeping an open dialogue with our wonderful supporters.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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