Category: Recipe

Welcome to the Blog…

Robert Noakes
Chief Chocolate Officer

I am Robert and I am a Chocoholic. That is how I often introduce myself, and this was long before I bought the company in June 2011. I live a life of serendipity, and these happy accidents have kept things very interesting for me…never a dull moment! It was one of those serendipitous moments that led me to

In late 2010, I was invited to Chicago to explore a leadership opportunity with one of the world’s largest retailers in their online division. You may have heard of them…they used to own a tall tower in Chicago. While there I decided to take in some of the local flavor and people and found my way to a cool spot with even cooler people. As I wandered through the lounge a certain green-eyed girl caught my attention, and my first thought was…”She looks like a chocoholic”. I then wondered if she might like to share a chocolate dessert with me, because the first thing I look for at a restaurant is the dessert menu and then the first thing I look for on the dessert menu is of course… chocolate!

I didn’t even need the menu because their signature chocolate dessert was displayed on flat screens all over the restaurant… The Chocolate Chip Cookie Skillet. That’s all I needed to see as it reminded me of one of my favorite desserts right here in Walnut Creek at 1515 Restaurant Lounge… The Chocolate Chip Cookie Melt…but I digress…

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The green-eyed woman was deeply engaged with a friend in obviously heavy conversation, so I had to be extremely patient and respectful in my timing of the dessert interruption.  I ate and sipped a little wine and kept eyeing that Cookie Skillet on the flat screen between glances in her direction. Our eyes met when I first noticed her and many times after that so I knew I was safe to approach her at some point.

The opportunity finally came as the conversation lightened across the room, and so I sauntered over to their table and introduced myself and commented that for some reason she looked like a chocoholic to me. Believe me when I say this wasn’t a line and my intentions were purely honorable…I just wanted to meet interesting local people while I had a weekend in Chicago. My travels are always rewarded by the rich fabric of cultures and people I encounter around the world.  I like to immerse myself in the local food scene and discover great chocolate concoctions and share the experience with locals.

She was receptive and they accepted my invitation for dessert as they would be there for another 20 minutes, so I quickly ordered the Cookie Skillet. Little did I know it was going to take 22 minutes to prepare as was my unfortunate experience that evening. As it turned out the green-eyed beauty’s friend had to leave and so she came over and said she could join me at the bar for a little while and have a bite of the dessert. Now I was faced with a skillet of cookie, instead of only a half or more… it was HUGE!

The conversation was easy and she was happy to have a lighter interaction than what ended up being her supporting her friend over the loss of her Father which explained the visible heaviness of their interchange. The irony of this was uncanny which will become clearer later in the the story. There is laughter, there is sadness, there is misery and there is fun. It was going to be a very interesting Chocoholic weekend in Chicago… more later…


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