What do you get from a fashion designer turned chocolatier? Sweets that taste as well as they look.
Michelle Lomelin is the owner of Sweet Petite Confections in Clairemont, a chocolate shop that not only specializes in creating the treats but ensuring they look exquisite. Visitors can find gourmet chocolates such as bonbons, meltaways, barks and salted caramels at the shop that celebrates its two-year anniversary this month.
Lomelin, who started Sweet Petite Confections as an Internet-based business in November 2008, was a fashion designer for 15 years before deciding to tap into the chocolate industry. But, she was introduced to the candy early on by her mother who was a baker.
“I was first introduced to chocolate by my mother,” Lomelin said. “My mother would decorate wedding cakes in our kitchen for clients and I would get to help make the frosting and lick the beaters from the mixer.”
A self-taught chocolatier, Lomelin said she spent years perfecting the art.
“I started exploring and experimenting and found I really enjoyed the creativity it allowed me,” said the Chicago native. “If there was a mistake to be made, I have made it at some point — that’s how you learn and grow.”
Today the mother of two differentiates herself from other chocolatiers by focusing on the appearance of her craft.
“When I began making chocolate, I did what I knew and designed collections for each season and holiday and still do today,” Lomelin said. “I pick colors, prints and packaging for each. Every collection starts with an inspiration and grows from there.”
Her clientele includes The Lodge at Torrey Pines, Hotel Del Coronado, the Farmers Insurance Open and BMW.
Now, nine years into the business, Lomelin is expanding Sweet Petite Confections by developing a new line of ice cream sandwiches, sauces and cookies. And, she’ll create her new chocolate line by using her merchandising calendar, marketing calendar and inspiration boards —planning tools she used while a fashion designer.
“Chocolate is not usually created this way, but in doing so, I have created my own niche,” Lomelin said. “We will continue to grow and learn from our customers.”
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