A Day in the Life of a Chocolate R&D Specialist

The research and development team at Lake Champlain Chocolates

Have you ever wondered who comes up with the ideas and recipes for tantalizing creations, like our new Chocolate Caramel Five Star Bar®, our iconic Chocolates of Vermont, or our award-winning Apple Cider Caramels? Our chocolate R&D team (Peter, Sarah, and Kate) are the masterminds and craftsmen behind some of LCC's latest and greatest inventions. Take a peek into their day and explore what it is like to work behind the scenes concocting gourmet chocolates.

an assortment of gourmet chocolates from Vermont

A Day in the Life of a Chocolate R&D Specialist

7:30 AM: [Kate] My morning drive is almost an hour, so I like to pass the time listening to podcasts. I like This American Life, Storycorps (whom I used to record for in my past life as a producer) and Heritage Radio Network, a station that broadcasts out of a Brooklyn pizza shop—all their shows are focused on food culture, brewing, travel, agriculture, and all manner of restaurant nerdery.

taste testing chocolates

8:15 AM: [Kate] As you might have guessed, my day begins with eating chocolate! I join the rest of the team in the factory to assess the quality, consistency, and flavor of all of the chocolates made the previous day (sometimes this can be as many as 10-12 chocolate samples before breakfast).

9:00 AM: [Sarah] It is sometimes hard for me to keep track of the current season. My morning began with sampling Fall chocolates, right now I have to create nutritional decks for the new organic chocolate bars that are launching in January 2017, and this afternoon we will be brainstorming chocolate ideas for Christmas 2017!

10:30 AM: [Kate] I join a quick team huddle to sample our test batch of chocolate leaves to determine its shelf life.experimenting with new chocolate recipes

11:00 AM: [Sarah] Into the R&D test kitchen for my favorite part of the day, recipe testing exciting new flavors! Today Kate is exploring chocolate and banana flavor combinations, Peter is crafting something with lots of coconut, and I am working with one of my favorite ingredients - local, Vermont honey.

lunch time stroll along Lake Champlain

12:30 PM: [Sarah and Kate] Lunch! It's time to eat something other than chocolate and enjoy a leisurely stroll along beautiful Lake Champlain.

2:00 PM: [Kate] We continue recipe testing. Creating a new product can be a long process. On average, only one in every 15-20 flavor ideas becomes an actual product. After all, they have quite a reputation to live up to.

working in the R&D test kitchen

3:30 PM: [Sarah] After we wrap up in the test kitchen, I spend the rest of the afternoon researching new ideas, new flavor trends, and new organic ingredient suppliers.

4:30 PM: [Sarah] Time to call it a day. I respond to one last email before heading home to walk the dog, enjoy the afternoon sunshine and to mull over the new flavor ideas developing in my head.

More Chocolatey Goodness Awaits

Explore More Articles