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Meet Tracy Taylor from Black Butterfly Artisan Chocolates

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tracy Taylor.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I am an accidental Chocolatier. I never grew up with the vision of ever being a Chocolatier much less having a career in the food industry. I came from a technical background where I spent 20 plus years working my way up the corporate ladder within the Telcom industry, ending that career as a Circuit Design Engineer. It was during my employ with the State of Nevada that I decided I wanted to tap into my creative side; but alas it still wasn’t working with chocolate! You see, I had always had the dream to become an Interior Designer, so I returned to school attending the Art Institute of Pittsburgh at the age of 40 to do just that. Unfortunately, life happens and I never did have the dream come to fruition despite obtaining the education. All the while I was continuing to work and do the continuing education, a friend introduced me to the world of chocolate. In order to supplement my income, I started making chocolate for friends, family, and co-workers. When I left the State job and relocated to Naples, Florida, it was there that I decided to jump into the world of Entrepreneurship and start a chocolate business knowing full well that I didn’t want to return to the corporate world. You see, even though it wasn’t Interior Design, being a Chocolatier still allowed for the creative energy within to be released. I was pretty much a self-taught Chocolatier until deciding to fully immerse myself in the profession, and it was then that I decided to seek official training thru Ecole Chocolat as well as classes with some of the Master Chocolatiers.

My first brick and mortar store didn’t happen until relocating to Prescott Arizona, and it was during that time I decided to re-brand the business, and thus Black Butterfly Artisan Chocolates took flight. A lot of people ask why the name Black Butterfly and in answer to the question it’s because butterflies are a symbol of transformation, a new start. People meeting black butterflies indicates that they should express their abilities more; their creativity. Black Butterflies are unique as are the confections I was bringing to the area.

Please tell us about your work.
I like to think I create happiness; moments; memories. I create beautiful colorful little edible works of art. All of the chocolates are made in house utilizing the finest cacao from Venezuela. All of our bonbons are hand painted with colored cocoa butter, utilizing several different techniques (brush, toothbrushes, sponges, finger painting, airbrush, shading tools, daubers, stipplers, etc.), much like that of a paint artist. They are made to evoke certain feelings as we eat with our eyes first. The other part of my art has to come from what lies within; the flavor. The flavor profiles I create are very global and stem from my time spent in my birth country of Canada and the melting pot of flavors in the cuisine of Vancouver British Columbia. I tend to focus on cultural foods that I myself enjoy whether it be Thai, Indian, Mexican, Italian, French, etc.

Aside from my bonbons, I also create chocolate bars that become a canvas on which to create a painting of sorts with edible herbs, flowers, dried fruits, and nuts. It’s all about placement in order to attract the eye of the consumer and stir something within them.

As an artist, how do you define success and what quality or characteristic do you feel is essential to success as an artist?
Defining success is a difficult one as it’s a journey, but I think most importantly it means being able to do what I love while creating happiness for others. Perseverance and the continuance of loving what I do is essential in being successful. If and when the time comes that it becomes “work” and the joy has escaped me then it would be an indication to hang it up.

Having the approval and acceptance of both the business community and the consumer for what I’m doing is of great importance in defining my success, and undoubtedly sales are a major bonus.

My biggest reward is in having customers come back for more and expressing how wonderful the chocolate was and how they gifted it to friends and family and how impressed they were. Most of all how happy they are that I’m a part of their community.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
The best place to discover what I do of course would be in person at our store in Prescott Arizona. The company is called Black Butterfly Artisan Chocolates, and we are located within the Old Firehouse Plaza in downtown Prescott at 218 W. Goodwin St. Suite 102. The Old Firehouse Plaza is just half a block off of Whisky Row and the Courthouse Square.

You can also see images of my work on our Instagram page at www.instagram.com/blackbutterflychocolates/ or our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BlackButterflyartisanchocolates.

You can also find some of our bars at both Prescott Valley Florists in Prescott Valley or Allans Flowers in Prescott. The Center for Healthy Living inside the Moorings Park Community in Naples Florida also carries some of our chocolate barks.

We appreciate everyone that follows our pages, but more importantly, you can best support us by visiting the store and experiencing first hand the work that I do and either enjoying it for yourself or gifting it to someone special in your life.

As you can see, we also wholesale so in the event that anyone would like to carry our chocolate offerings, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Shana Oh

Getting in touch: VoyagePhoenix is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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