Meet-the-Maker • Dolce Federica

 

If you can't already tell, we're big cheerleaders of community. Shopping local, buying local, supporting the makers that live down the street for you. Perhaps it is because we're small business owners ourselves, but the stories behind each of these businesses in our Meet-the-Maker series are all so inspiring. Today, we're getting to know Federica of Dolce Federica, a gourmet chocolate boutique in Montclair, New Jersey. Looking for custom shower or wedding favors? Dolce Federica should be your first stop. Yes, it's that delicious. 


Tell us a little bit about you, and how you got started!  I was born and raised in the Veneto, a region of Italy with rich culinary traditions where cooking is taken particularly...seriously. Inspired by mom and by my pastry-chef brother, I took advantage of a family stint in Israel to pursue my dream of attending pastry school. There, and in France, I was introduced and fell in love with the art of chocolate. After graduation, I focused on making chocolate creations for friends and family. Before long, their warm embrace and encouragement led to the first stream of orders. My calling soon became clear: I focused my creative energy and appreciation for gourmet chocolate on what was soon to become Dolce Federica. 

Dolce Federica

What services do you offer and/or what do you specialize in? My best moments are when I’m experimenting with the distinct flavors of my home country, seeking to blend them into French-inspired ganache and wrap them in Belgian dark covers. These Italy-inspired bonbons have become my signature offerings. Flavors such as limoncello, Balsamic, pistachio, amaretto and even olive oil. As a local business I incorporate ingredients found in and around Montclair, and I cater to vegan and other dietary preferences. Some of my most popular offerings are Fleur de Se thin salted leaves of dark chocolate bark, as well as tree nut bark. Despite the growth opportunity in retail, I’ve dodged the temptation of opening a storefront to stay focused on my creative passion. My chocolates are only available through my website. I’m increasingly invited to pop-up shops in the community, as well as culinary events and exposes throughout the region. I’m doing more and more favors and custom work for corporate and philanthropic causes, especially in NY. All in all, I’m proud of the fact that my interaction with customers is still up close and personal. 

Dolce Federica

Image by Laura Lee Photography

What makes your business unique? As an artisan, I work with my clients to create exactly the flavors and design for their special occasion. I do small batch custom orders for parties and corporate events, using only high quality European chocolate and no preservative. This, combined with the unique flavors, make my chocolates distinctive.  

Hidden talent? I love design and my friend had often asked to my opinion to decorate their space. Not sure that this can be considered a hidden talent, but my eye for design has served me really well in the chocolate gifts and creative packaging side. I probably spend way too much time perfecting that side of orders… 

Dolce Federica

Image by Laura Lee Photography

Childhood career aspiration? I always wanted to get to know different cultures and languages, and I dreamt of being paid to travel the world. Indeed, my first career was in hotels and hospitality. I still love to travel, but now it’s for vacation rather than work. Meaning I have to pay for it myself...

Dolce Federica

Image by Laura Lee Photography

Coffee or tea? I’m Italian so I love a good espresso.  Tea is a nice companion on a cold winter day.