Truffle Shots is designed to make accessing the gooey part of a chocolate candy easier.
Where many stumble into the sweets business, others have chocolate running through their veins. One such other is Lauren Athay, the 29-year-old co-founder of Truffle Shots.
Truffle shots is known for its truffles where the hard-outer casing is replaced by a shot glass. Pouring the gooey ganache into the glass allows for immediate access to, according to Athay, the only part of the truffle worth having.
Athay and her mother, Sherri, came up with the idea of Truffle Shots after much deliberation over the hard-shell dilemma. One day, during a casual shopping trip, Athay spotted the glasses.
“All I said was, ‘Wow! Wouldn’t those be beautiful with chocolate in them?’ and immediately my mom was like ‘Truffle Shots!’ We went home, applied for a trademark and patent, bought a web domain, and started experimenting … all in one night,” Athay said.
Co-founder, Truffle Shots
Athay was 21 when she helped her mom start Truffle Shots. At the time, she was enrolled at Virginia University and unsure if philosophy, film production or business should be her declared major.
“I always had a wide variety of interests, and I always loved chocolate. I guess it’s a good thing that I ended up with Truffle Shots full-time,” Athay said.
While at school, Athay played an active role in the company, strategically planning with her mother, consulting on flavors and packaging, anything she could do remotely. When she graduated with a degree in philosophy, she jumped straight back into the family business, full-time.
“Now I help with production as well as client consultations,” Athay said. “We just had a group come in to book an order for their wedding, so I helped them decide how to best to incorporate the treats.”
Athay’s favorite thing about working with chocolate is the experimentation and the satisfying process of transforming an idea into a physical object.
“I can’t believe that this is my job. I love learning, and there is so much more to chocolate than I initially realized. From fermentation to roasting and bean origin, there are so many variables that can change the taste and texture of the product,” Athay said.
According to Athay, the craft movement (bean to bar) has exploded in the last 10 years, and she’s really excited to be part of a growing industry.
So next time you think about manufacturing, don’t forget that the industry includes sweet-toothed chocolate connoisseurs. Their factories are brightly lit, white aprons tossed over chairs, edible experimentations littered across chrome tables. Both customers and the smell of confections are welcomed to linger. These are Connecticut’s sweet shops.