MUKILTEO, Wash. -- French chocolate mint, dark chocolate classic, or Mukilteo mocha. There are literally dozens of truffles to choose from at the Mukilteo Chocolate Company, all of which are hand-crafted by owner Laurie Ellis.
“It’s a two-day process to make a batch of truffles. You have to make a filling, let it cool, put the filling in a chocolate shell and then let that sit overnight, and the next day you have to come in and hand-coat them. And I do hand-coat them one at a time, one by one by one,” explains Ellis.
Long before buying the business, Ellis was a customer. She’d stop in from time-to-time after her husband died nine years ago, then began helping as a way to pass the time. When the owner decided to relocate, Ellis bought the business and has been making it her own.
“I think I love interacting with the customers the most. If you come into a chocolate shop and you’re sad, you’re buying yourself chocolate and you get happy. Or you come in because you’re happy and you’re wanting to buy someone a birthday gift or an anniversary gift,” says Ellis.
Customers range from tourists to locals, and while most requests are easy to handle, some days are longer than others. During the holidays Ellis will make between 600 – 800 truffles a day, creating 14-hour workdays. But despite the long hours, she’s always happy to come to work.
“I want everyone to be happy. If you’re not happy when you walk in, I want you to be happy when you close the door and walk out. That’s probably the most important thing for me," she says.