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.”