Choosing the side of homegrown businesses
That’s how you make a 7-pound chocolate Easter bunny.
Holl’s Chocolates was founded by Fritz and Elisabeth Holl in Mineral Wells in 1986. This West Virginia treasure is now run by their son Dominique and daughter-in-law Michelle, who met at the chocolate shop decades ago.
The date was February 13th.
“She was oblivious that that the next day was Valentines Day,” remembered Dominique. “So I hoped maybe she wasn’t involved with anyone.”
The rest is history.
Every season is different. “Christmas is our biggest. Then, Valentine’s. And with Easter coming up, we’ll be making eggs and bunnies for the next two weeks.”
Like most small and homegrown businesses, they’ve diversified and innovated while trying to keep growing. Roughly 60 percent of their business is still retail, but now the rest is a mix of online and business-to-business.
To this day, their chocolate is shipped from Switzerland (their dark chocolate is a recipe exclusive to them), handcrafted in West Virginia, and contains no added preservatives—“so you’d better eat it as quickly as possible.”
This is the West Virginia we want: one where small, homegrown businesses and retailers can not only compete, but thrive. One where the shop owner lives down the street, not in Manhattan or Dubai. We can win that kind of state, but only if we fight for it.
We asked Dominique the first thing he’d change if he were Governor. “It has to start with education. As a businessperson, the first thing a company wants to know is: what are the schools like? When you invest in education, everything gets better.”
See our plans to address some of these issues here: