A Letter From Our Founders
To our fellow chocolate lovers:
As the saying goes, "life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you're going to get." And for our humble chocolate company we’ve experienced that firsthand. Starting a business from scratch and running it for nearly a decade was both challenging and rewarding. Eventually, we knew we needed to shake things up and chart a new course, one that would carry us through the next ten years and beyond. And now, we're excited to share our journey of reinvention with you.
My wife Kristin and I started Terroir Chocolate in 2013 solely as a way for Kristin to bring her ‘art’ into the world. She’s always had a vision for creating incredible chocolate, it was her passion and gift. But with the birth of our two children, and now our third that we just welcomed into our family in April, it became clear that her creativity and determined follow-through were being drawn to and better spent on our own homestead, focusing on creating a sustainable and nurturing way of living for our family and honoring the land we live on.
Additionally, the chocolate business had become less about making chocolate and more about the accounting systems, inventory management, team development, and logistics. It wasn't what we had set out to do, and we knew it was time to shift our focus. So, we let go of what wasn't serving us and leaned into what we were passionate about: making amazing chocolate while opening ourselves up to the need for someone else to come in and help us grow the business.
In 2022, we developed a five-year vision for our company, and we knew that big changes were on the horizon. We're grateful for the guidance and support we received along the way from family, friends, community members and advisors. Lessening our control of the reins wasn’t easy, but it was worth it. We learned that sometimes, you need to make big changes to achieve success. And sometimes, you need to rekindle your passion and let go of what you ‘think you should be doing’, to instead, focus on what you're truly passionate about. So that's what we’ve done, we’ve re-focused our priorities, rekindled our passion, and realigned our values. We want to make our mark on the world of premium chocolate, and know we need the right people to guide us on this journey. It wasn't an easy decision to make, but we knew it was the right one.
Enter Kate LaBrosse, a highly respected consultant for natural products brands who has a passion for helping founders achieve their vision. Through the consulting work we did with Kate, a beautiful vision for our future was born, one that would allow us to build a nationally recognized, premium brand focused on quality, innovation and user experience, built on our solid foundation of making USDA organic, fair trade, bean-to-bar, international award winning, craft chocolate. At the start of this year, Kate signed on as our partner and CEO and is driving this new vision forward with a new brand name and look, while honoring the legacy of TC Chocolate and the values that are important to Kristin and I as co-founders.
So, to you, our valued customer, please join us on our sweet journey with the launch of our new brand, Sted! In Norwegian, Sted means 'place' and embodies our three founding principles: Honor Place, Create Connection, and Celebrate Taste. We're excited to celebrate this new chapter with you while assuring you that the delicious chocolate you know and love will remain, with some tasty additions!
And just maybe, our story will inspire you to embrace change, go after your own dreams, and discover something even sweeter in your own business, career or personal life.
Josh & Kristin
Co-founders, Sted Foods (formerly TC Chocolate)