Notes from the Chocolatier’s Kitchen – Being Thankful


During my last Notes from the Chocolatier’s Kitchen, things were wonderful. We were celebrating our five year anniversary, prepping for our Kickstarter campaign, and monitoring our remodel for our production kitchen and chocolate education center. Life was good! Things seemed to be moving in the right direction.

Well, that didn’t last for long. One afternoon, I decided to stop by the building to check on progress of the remodel. I didn’t notice anything strange immediately, except for the fact that my contractor wasn’t there working like he was supposed to be. As I examined the area more closely, I noticed that things were missing – lights, supplies, tools, and materials I had personally purchased were gone. GONE! I did the only thing that seemed appropriate at the time – I sat down in the middle of an empty shell of a kitchen and cried.

Notes from the Chocolatier

Notes from the ChocolatierOver the next few weeks, I hit one roadblock after another. The realization that my general contractor had skipped town began to sink in. And as I sorted and cleaned through the physical mess he left behind, I uncovered more and more disasters requiring immediate attention – missing permits, unpaid subcontractors, and more stolen items. For anyone who has ever embarked on their own construction project, you will understand when I say it was my worst nightmare.

The stress of all of this has taken its toll physically, emotionally, and financially. I have lost over 10 lbs. My bank account is beyond tapped out. And I spend days walking in circles trying to determine what to tackle first.

At least the urge to burst into tears has finally subsided.

To say, “Life is hard” is an understatement right now, but I don’t want this month’s Notes from the Chocolatier’s Kitchen to be all about the struggles of my current situation. I want to be honest and share with each of you what I have been struggling with. Yes, it is all part of owning a business and being hands-on in everything that is related to it. And for every setback I face, it makes me more determined to succeed at my dream for Delysia.

During this month of Thanksgiving, I want to reflect on the people I am thankful for. Difficult times bring out your true support network. It’s when you learn who is truly behind you and wants to see you succeed. I am and will always be forever grateful to my family who has been by my side through this. To the trades and subcontractors who have been willing to step in and help, I truly appreciate your advice and support. To our customers, thank you for your patience and understanding as we sort everything out. I promise you, Delysia Chocolatier will get through this and be better than ever at creating the award-winning chocolates you’ve learned to love and trust.

And finally, to our Kickstarter campaign contributors and evangelists who have supported our efforts to raise money – something that I’m not afraid to admit that I need now more than ever before – from the bottom of my heart, thank you, thank you, thank you!

Wishing you the comfort of everything for which you’re thankful for this Thanksgiving.

Delysia Chocolatier: Nicole signature


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.

10 responses to “Notes from the Chocolatier’s Kitchen – Being Thankful”

  1. Nicole
    You and I have traded stories of the scars incurred while pursuing our dream. Your vision and the quality of your craftsmanship surely will triumph over the trials & tribulations you endure right now. You do great work! A nearly perfect product that has to find its way to the world, and you are the torch bearer. Remember, Henry Miller said, “do what you love and it will take you where you want to be.”.

    • We went to the police very early on. I was told that if a contractor has permission to be on your property and they steal or damage that property, it is not considered a ‘criminal’ act because they have permission to be there. Very infuriating! I was also told that since the contractor listed last address is in Spicewood, the police (if they could have done anything) would not leave their jurisdiction.

      The primary issue (which I just learned) is that General Contractors in the State of Texas are not required to be licensed. This is something that needs to be changed! According to the Attorney General’s office when I spoke with them, there is legislation currently being considered by lawmakers. I need to contact my Congressman to volunteer to be a spokesperson on this cause.

  2. Such a frustrating experience. Con men are so convincing capitalizing on your trust and genuine positive expectations. So sad you had to experience this.
    I have no doubt that your dream will come true. Fueled by this set back’ you will appreciate evermore what you have in tenacity, talent, love and support. So much is taken for granted in the pace of living daily. With your success, you will take time “to smell the roses” and your appreciation and gratitude will make it so sweet.
    Your edible creations pictured are exquisite. Just too pretty to eat!

    • Thank you so much Patricia for your kind words and encouragement. If I give up, he would have won. I must keep moving forward with the dream. Thank you for your support!

  3. Focusing on the positive joy that surrounds you will be the fuel that ignites your determination and leads to your success. I have NO DOUBT that you will attain your goal of “just making chocolate”. From the moment you and I first met, that was obvious. Stay the course, rely on joy and rest assure that you are not alone. We are all rooting for you.

    • You are so sweet Blossom. I appreciate your kind words, encouragement, and support! And your advice is absolutely correct – just sometimes it is hard to ‘remember’ in the middle of it all. Some days are easier than others. But I know we will persevere!