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 brought Arrowhead Chocolates into being have created a place of beauty, fun, liveliness, and true quality of both product and experience.
Their first task was to develop a 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 offered, every employee hired, and every business decision made 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 created the shop as a space of fresh beauty that shifts and changes like the mountains above us with every season. Following in her path, Arrowhead still brings artists’ works to the shop—In the past we have featured art from Brent Wydrinsky, Lisa Arquette, and Aimee Jungmann, among many others!
Bruce’s background as a research fisheries biologist in Idaho lent itself well to his precise work with chocolate and flavors. He used a scientist’s care with the process of experimenting and working with the chocolate, as well as the passion and creativity of his artistic nature and love of cooking. Under his patient and methodical tutelage, Erin Baynes has been learning and mastering the art and science of chocolate-making since Fall 2012, and her innate skill and zeal for the trade has left Arrowhead in abundantly capable hands upon Bruce’s retirement in 2017.
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. Her compassion for Arrowhead and for its employees set a strong foundation for a joyful and collaborative work environment.
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, wholesale accounts, and large specialty orders, always with the same emphasis on top quality products and a positive experience for our customers, our employees and ourselves.