Notes from the Chocolatier: Creating Opportunities

From crocheted garments in the dessert of Coachella to Jazz in the streets of New Orleans, people everywhere are celebrating Festival Season. For Austin, this season came with its share of setbacks and rainchecks. The cancelling of Austin Food and Wine Festival the week of the festival left travelers and locals with an open schedule and a mix of emotions. Delysia Chocolatier was one of those. The email we dreaded and did not even realize was possible was received just hours after packing everything for the weekend. The cancellation left us with endless boxes of specially made chocolate truffles and nowhere to go.


Creating an opportunity

I am a firm believer that the roadblocks we face in life are there to teach us valuable lessons. Other than to never underestimate the power of April Showers, it taught us to make the most of our situations and find a way for a setback to become an opportunity. And that is what Austin did. All over the city, vendors opened their doors to travelers with no plans but a hunger for a taste of Austin. Delysia was one of those whose doors we shoved open with a creative force. We hosted in our Culinary Center a Taste of the South– tastings and wine pairings with Southern inspired flavors. Fried chicken, cornbread, mint julep, the list of truffles goes on and so did our weekend.

Success from a setback

What was possibly the worst thing we could imagine happening leading up to the event, turned out to be one of the greatest weekends of tastings we have hosted. Because of this unexpected situation, we got to be creative and strategize an alternative. We met so many more customers than we ever could have and had the opportunity to focus on each one individually and really form relationships with them. Pushing the boundaries on our creativity also encouraged us to really dive into our idea and think big. Delysia has hosted many events but for one that was so last minute and with the media attention we needed, we had to fully immerse ourselves in the plan. This is not to say that attending the Festival would not have been incredible (believe us, it would have been the highlight of our month), but being able to create a more personal weekend for our customers and friends was just as rewarding. We know that in the future, we have the capability to handle any situation with grace.

“A calm sea does not make a skillful sailor.”

There is a reason there are so many quotes about obstacles in life- everyone faces them at one point or another. Pick up any autobiography in the book store and you will read a story of successes but mostly failures and setbacks. Owning a business, especially one that sells your passion, is about accepting the ups and downs. Like a romance, there will be times when it drives you to the brink of insanity. But the times when it fosters love and relationships, those are the times you remember why it is worth it. Our customers and passion for creating experiences are what keep us going throughout the struggles. Thank you for being a part of this passion.

We did not have the weekend we expected. Because of that, we are thankful.


Signature - Nicole Patel


What struggles have you faced that you’ve overcome in business or otherwise? Has a setback ever taught you a valuable lesson? Leave a comment and let us know.


Nicole Patel

Nicole Patel is the proprietor of and chocolatier for Delysia Chocolatier. In 2006 while pregnant with her first son, Nicole made a batch of chocolate truffles as holiday gifts. To the delight of friends and family, she continued to create chocolates as a way to relieve stress from her corporate engineering job. In 2008, a chance trip to Becker Vineyards led to Nicole being the first in Texas to make truffles using local wines. Within five years, what started as a hobby turned Delysia into one of the Top Ten Chocolatiers in the Americas, as selected by the International Chocolate Salon.