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Interview: Julia Choi-Rodriguez & Roger Rodriguez, Cofounders of Vesta Chocolate

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“Marketing can help, but… it shouldn’t be [the] primary reason that someone purchases a product.”

-Julia Choi-Rodriguez, Co-founder of Vesta Chocolate

Julia & Roger Rodriguez opened the doors to their shop in February 2020, less than a month after their wedding ceremony. Nearly a year in the making, and their official grand opening was waylaid by covid. And then waylaid again. And eventually it was cancelled altogether, plans were scrapped, and big changes had to be made to keep Vesta alive— they went full bare bones.

Working just outside of New York City, at the height of the pandemic, the couple hustled to drum up interest through Easter, and then Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. But not only did they survive the worst of it, but they’ve thrived, doing well from the start thanks to good advertising. In this interview, we dig into the early days of Vesta, as well as bootstrapped marketing and the future of social media. So without further ado, here’s my interview with Roger and Julia. I hope you enjoy listening to our conversation as much as I enjoyed having it.

To read more about craft chocolate, check out where to buy craft chocolate online.

Topics We Cover

  • Roger’s background as a pastry chef and eventually chocolatier and then chocolate maker
  • home-rigged chocolate making machinery
  • how Julia’s background in advertising and food photography has helped build Vesta
  • finding their bank vault retail shop
  • their 2020 timeline as a new business
  • advice to young businesses
  • food photography tips
  • how bonbons should be made

Connect With Roger & Julia and Vesta Chocolate

Vesta Chocolate’s Website.

Vesta Chocolate on Instagram.

Vesta Chocolate on Facebook.

Connect With Chocolate On The Road

On Instagram: @chocolateontheroad

On Facebook: @chocolateontheroad

Show music is Roadtrip by Phil Reavis, and our transition music is We’re Gonna Be Around by People Like Us & Sweet Dreams by Lobo Loco.

To listen to the previous episode, click here.

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