How Charles Burke of BOHO Chocolate followed his passion for chocolate making
Charles Burke started his journey selling chocolates and confections from a small shop in New England over 30 years ago.
He opened his first retail chocolate store in Amherst, Massachusetts, at the age of 24. The following year, he opened a second store in Massachusetts and then a third in Burlington, Vermont.
Charles is no stranger to startups and new ventures. He has an MBA in management with a focus on entrepreneurial thinking. He has handled projects for the music and entertainment industry, working for companies such as MTV, DreamWorks, ESPN and The History Channel. He is also a licensed contractor and can sometimes be found designing and building luxury homes, and has also previously volunteered as director for several non-profit organizations that raise funds for social causes.
His inspiration for the transition to making craft chocolate came from his daughter Sarah who had just returned to the United States after working with fashion designer Zandra Rhodes in London. Sarah’s endless ideas, energy and artistic ability helped propel BOHO Chocolate towards its current journey.
One of Charles’ long-time goals has always been to make chocolate that was socially, environmentally and economically sustainable throughout the entire supply chain. With no idea where to begin, Charles and his partner booked a trip to Punta Gorda, Belize, where they would discover firsthand the process of making bean-to-bar chocolate. Here, he met growers and producers of cacao and new friendships were forged. This opened the door for BOHO Chocolate to flourish.
BOHO has won more than a dozen awards from The Academy of Chocolate (England), The International Chocolate Awards and The Good Food Awards (USA).
The name BOHO is short for “bohemian”, which means the chocolate company takes an organic, artistic and independent approach to making quality chocolate. It derives its ideas and style not from the corporate chocolate industry, but from a broad and diverse group of true artisans whose collective interest in food and sustainability continues to transform how premium chocolate is made.