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Learn from Barbara Sher, Barbara Winter, and me…


Calling All Cooks and Chocolate Lovers: What If You Could Make a Living From Your Passion?

By Valerie Young

If you love to cook or bake or are a chocolate connoisseur – and you’re intrigued by the idea of actually making a living from your passions – you’ll love these resources!

Want to be on the Television? The Food Network Wants You Share Your Recipe for Success!

Are you making a radical change in your life to pursue a career in the culinary arts? Whether you're a recent cooking school graduate, a chef who is just starting out, or a successful food entrepreneur, the Food Network and Recipe for Success want to hear from you! Share your story, in 200 words or less, for the chance to be featured in an upcoming episode on the Food Network. Click Here to Learn More

People Are Eating Up Specialty Foods and Gift Baskets

Three times a year the National Association of the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT) sponsors three Fancy Food Shows®, each one attracting some 19,000 to 32,000 attendees from specialty food, wine, gift and department stores, supermarkets, restaurants, mail-order and other related businesses.

Even if you're not quite ready to be an exhibitor yet, being exposed to over a thousand exhibitors from around the world, presenting over 50,000 specialty foods to discover and sample is sure to be an eye- opening experience.

The shows also features a series of educational programs on topics like growing a gift basket business, how ethnic- and minority-owned businesses can succeed in the specialty food industry, and how to succeed in catering.

The Fancy Food Show is held in multiple cities. Find details at

Calling All Chocolate Lovers

A client told me she has a gift for determining the quality of chocolate. She can even tell what country it comes from! Okay, I thought, how might a chocolate lover make a living? So I hopped on the Internet and found out there are actually schools for chocolatiers!

Their spring program is full, but if you want to launch a career in making chocolate, you can still sign up for’s fall Professional Chocolatier Program training. This intensive, part-time program is delivered 100% online over a 3 month period so, as the site says, “you can learn without ‘re-engineering’ your work and personal life.” Good thinking. 

In addition to their catalog, online store, and consulting business, eChocolates offers the University of Chocolate. This French based school holds classes in the cacao region of Ecuador. The university is geared toward professional chocolate buyers, cocoa traders, pastry chefs and others in the chocolate business. But they’ll also accept chocolate aficionados from the general public on an availability basis. 

Finally, here’s a small business owner after my own heart. Diadre’s Fine Chocolates by Design is a European Style Chocolate store & factory in Dunedin, Florida that features chocolates exclusively from Belgium, Germany, and France. In addition to a thriving mail order business aimed at the corporate and special occasions markets, they also were smart enough to offer one-on-one classes – both private and public – for those interested in going into the chocolate and candy business. 

If you’re not quite ready to take the training plunge, but are intrigued by the idea of having a sweet career in chocolates, you may just want to start with a subscription to Chocolatier Magazine.

Did you like this article? Read more free articles about Changing Course.

About the Author

"Profiting From Your Passions®" expert Valerie Young abandoned her corporate cubicle to become the Dreamer in Residence at offering resources to help you discover your life mission and live it. Her career change tips have been cited in Kiplinger's, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today Weekend, Woman's Day, and elsewhere and on-line at MSN, CareerBuilder, and An expert on the Impostor Syndrome, Valerie has spoken on the topic of How to Feel as Bright and Capable as Everyone Seems to Think You Are to such diverse organizations as Daimler Chrysler, Bristol-Meyers Squibb, Harvard, and American Women in Radio and Television.

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