Upscale chocolatier growing into Carmel

November 1, 2013
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Forget Halloween. Hoosier chocolatier Julie Bolejack is hard at work preparing for Christmas.

She’s peddling her products at two holiday gift shows over the next couple weeks, and somewhere in there plans to open a storefront in Carmel selling gelato and espresso along with her gourmet chocolates.

Chocolate for the Spirit will occupy about 1,200 square feet of space at 301 E. Carmel Drive. Early next year, the shop will close to undergo a more extensive renovation, adding production capabilities and special-event space.

“We’re trying to get open for the holidays,” said Bolejack, a master chocolatier who spent 30 years working in corporate information technology (at a Fortune 500 company, no less) before finding her real passion.

She started the business in 2008, while still working her day job, and came out of the “chocolate closet” almost three years ago after gaining national attention at the prestigious International New York Chocolate Show.

Her products—including bon-bons, toffee, truffles, bark and bars—are made by hand in small batches using “ultra-premium” chocolate.

Chocolate for the Spirit has a shop at Indianapolis City Market, and some of its goodies also are available at Goose the Market.

Bolejack said Carmel is a logical place to grow her business, given its upscale demographics and reputation for embracing the arts.

After decades in the “soul-sucking” corporate world, Bolejack is enjoying the creative freedom she found in her home “studio”—a commercial kitchen in Shelbyville.

“There is a lot of joy in it,” she said, explaining the company’s name. “It lifts my spirits and hopefully others will enjoy the fruits of my labor.”


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  1. Why not take some time to do some research before traveling to that Indiana town or city, and find the ones that are no smoking either inside, or have a patio? People like yourself are just being selfish, and unnecessarily trying to take away all indoor venues that smokers can enjoy themselves at. Last time I checked, it is still a free country, and businesses do respond to market pressure and will ban smoking, if there's enough demand by customers for it(i.e. Linebacker Lounge in South Bend, and Rack and Helen's in New Haven, IN, outside of Fort Wayne). Indiana law already unnecessarily forced restaurants with a bar area to be no smoking, so why not support those restaurants that were forced to ban smoking against their will? Also, I'm always surprised at the number of bars that chose to ban smoking on their own, in non-ban parts of Indiana I'll sometimes travel into. Whiting, IN(just southeast of Chicago) has at least a few bars that went no smoking on their own accord, and despite no selfish government ban forcing those bars to make that move against their will! I'd much rather have a balance of both smoking and non-smoking bars, rather than a complete bar smoking ban that'll only force more bars to close their doors. And besides IMO, there are much worser things to worry about, than cigarette smoke inside a bar. If you feel a bar is too smoky, then simply walk out and take your business to a different bar!

  2. As other states are realizing the harm in jailing offenders of marijuana...Indiana steps backwards into the script of Reefer Madness. guys voted for your Gov...up to you to vote him out. Signed, Citizen of Florida...the next state to have medical marijuana.

  3. It's empowering for this niche community to know that they have an advocate on their side in case things go awry.

  4. Apparently the settlement over Angie's List "bundling" charges hasn't stopped the practice! My membership is up for renewal, and I'm on my third email trying to get a "basic" membership rather than the "bundled" version they're trying to charge me for. Frustrating!!

  5. a vendor to both of these builders I guess I have the right to comment. Davis closed his doors with integrity.He paid me every penny he owed me. Estridge,STILL owes me thousands and thousands of dollars. The last few years of my life have been spent working 2 jobs, paying off the suppliers I used to work on Estridge jobs and just struggling to survive. Shame on you Paul...and shame on you IBJ! Maybe you should have contacted the hundreds of vendors that Paul stiffed. I'm sure your "rises from the ashes" spin on reporting would have contained true stories of real people who have struggled to find work and pay of their debts (something that Paul didn't even attempt to do).