An artisan confectionery specializing in handmade truffles and chocolates
Get to know the owners of Homer Truffle Co. in this Q&A with the husband and wife team, David and Evangelina. Learn about the rewards and challenges of owning a chocolate business in Homer, Alaska.
LFM: What is your education, training, and experience in the art of making chocolate?
Evangelina: I have a Bachelor’s in Sociology, University of Texas at San Antonio, a Culinary Certificate, Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, and a Baking and Pastry Certificate, Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts.
David: My mom owned Tundra Chocolates in Wasilla, so candy was present in my life in a very different way as a child than most. I would help my mom with packaging candy and got paid in delicious currency. Every Sunday we’d head over to the shop for goodies.
LFM: What is your personal Alaska history?
Evangelina: I am from San Antonio, Texas. I met David in the Navy’s Master-at-arms (military cop) academy. When I was getting ready to separate from the Navy David and I had two choices: Alaska or Texas. David encouraged me to visit Alaska during the winter to decide whether or not it was right for me. When the plane landed in Anchorage in the winter of 2015, I felt like I was coming home; a deep sense of peace enveloped me. We searched for two weeks all along the Seward/Sterling Highway and found our way to Homer. The Bay, the ocean, the enormity, and the calm embrace of the mountains all came together and welcomed us in. We knew this was where we wanted to raise our son. It was perfect.
David: I was raised in Anchorage and Wasilla. My grandparents moved here in the 1950s, my mother was raised in Anchorage, and my sister and her family still live in Wasilla and Palmer.
LFM: Does Homer’s climate make creating truffles difficult with the heat, cold, moisture, etc.?
Evangelina: Yes. Working with chocolate requires attention, patience, and persistence, but if you don’t have the perfect temperature and humidity control, it is that much more of a struggle. We have regulators that help with the humidity and keep our temperature just right.
David: It has been a challenge. We originally thought we’d be fine with the open windows in Alaska, but we ended up having one of the only buildings here with air conditioning.
LFM: Was there a defining moment before you started the business, that gave you confidence to begin this venture?
Evangelina: Making candy and chocolate is the BEST way to make a life in Alaska without sacrificing time away from our boys. I was all too familiar with being away from my first son 14 to 15 hours at a time and not having physical contact with him or my husband for months at a time. We agreed we wanted something different for our children; we wanted to be present. They are the motivation behind our confidence. Helen Keller said, “We can do anything we want to if we stick to it long enough.” That statement can’t be any more true. However, along with not giving up, David and I add passion, persistence, focus, creativity, adaptability, and the willingness to learn and improve our craft.
David: We were not expecting to go down this road. It was a suggestion and we ran with it.
LFM: What has been the biggest surprise so far?
Evangelina: The amount of personal growth and full circles chocolate has brought to my life. Many times, I felt as though I was walking down linear paths. Chocolate has made it more as though I was an electrical signal passing through one neuron of the brain to another. It’s been two very enlightening years, and I hope for many more.
David: We are extremely thankful and humbled with the overwhelming support for our products. Customers genuinely love what we create. The experience, so far, has been surreal, and not something we ever thought we would do. It is a great feeling and encourages us to continue exploring our creativity and produce new sweet treats for our community.
Visit Homer Truffle Company online.