Arrowhead Chocolates is the result of a happy happenstance—the result of one of those ideas that come up between several people who, at that moment the idea appears, all feel a thrill of excitement.
Erica is a graphic designer who was ready to move from the professional world to her own business, her father Bruce is a creative cook and chocolatier, and her mother Wendy has the head for numbers and detail that keeps a business running smoothly. They decided to join together to create a chocolate and coffee shop. Between the three of them, the synergy and co-operation that has brought Arrowhead Chocolates into being have created a place of beauty, fun, liveliness, and true quality of both product and experience.
Our first task was to develop our mission statement: “At Arrowhead Chocolates, our mission is to serve great chocolate and great drinks in a way that creates fun and joy for our customers and for ourselves. We want to be a bright spot in anyone’s day.”
Every product we offer, every employee we hire, and every business decision we make comes back to this mission statement. Will the quality be “great?” Does this create fun, for our customer, and for us? Do we feel joy? Does our customer leave with a smile on his or her face?
With her artistic talent, Erica has created the shop as a space of fresh beauty that shifts and changes like the mountains above us with every season. She brings artists’ works to our shop—we showcase the lovely work of Brent Wydrinski, who creates unique glass vases and pitchers, Jerry Crandall, a woodworker who crafts gorgeous wooden boxes from vintage Wallowa Valley fence woods for our chocolates, and local and regional photographers, potters and artists.
Bruce’s background as a research fisheries biologist in Idaho lends itself well to his precise work with chocolate and flavors. He brings a scientist’s care to the process of experimenting and working with the chocolate, as well as the passion and creativity of his artistic nature and love of cooking.
Wendy’s background includes studies in mathematics, education, and counseling—a mix of attention to detail and attention to people which lends itself well to setting up and maintaining the many aspects of running a business.
Arrowhead Chocolates opened in Joseph, Oregon, in the winter of 2010, and it’s been going strong from the first day. Our local residents have been a vital source of support and encouragement and our visitors to the very special Wallowa Valley area give us the boost and inspiration we need to be successful. We continue to develop new products and expand our availability through online sales, always with the same emphasis on top quality products and a positive experience for our customers, our employees and ourselves.