How It All Started
It all started with a Christmas Present. In December 2000, I was in my umpteenth year of practicing law when I received a gift certificate to a local culinary school. With no time for fun, I put the certificate in a drawer and promptly forgot about it. Fast forward to December 2001 when I finally decided to clean up my home office. Underneath piles of paper was that gift certificate -- and it was about to expire! Without thinking about the consequence of my actions, I registered for the next 20-week course in pastry arts. And that, as they say, was the beginning of the end of my legal career. By 2003, I was a full time pastry arts student and had fallen in love with chocolate. In 2005, I opened my first store in Olney, Maryland, called Penny Chocolates.
By 2007 I had decided that the hot sticky Maryland summers did not provide the best conditions for working with chocolate. Looking for a way to expand my ability to play with flavors during those months, I settled on gelato. Its relatively low fat content made gelato the perfect candidate. But not just any gelato canvas would do. Totally turned off by the mystery ingredients in commercially available gelato base, off I went to Calbria, Italy, to learn how to make a true artisan product. After many fights with my calculator and lots of trial and error I had a gelato base I loved and Penny Chocolates & Gelato was born.
After I closed my Washington, DC area store in 2011, I thought I was done making chocolate and gelato. Two years later, as I settled into my new home in Jupiter, Florida, I realized that when it comes to chocolate and artisan gelato there is no such thing as being done. I guess I'm in this for the long haul.
Sadly, we lost our beloved Penny in 2017, just shortly after her 18th birthday. I miss my trusty sidekick everyday, but her spirit lives on.
Pastry Chef & Owner