How Angela Pfleiderer started ChocolateSpiel, combining her background in chemical engineering and her love for baking

ChocolateSpiel takes its name from the German word for “game” or “play” which perfectly describes what the chocolate company is all about – playing and creating with chocolate!

Founder Angela Pfleiderer combined her background of chemical engineering with the delicious world of bean-to-bar chocolate when she discovered her love for chocolate in 2016, after moving from Germany to Seattle.

In Germany, she used to work as a Chemical Engineer and developed paints. During a tour at Theo’s Chocolate Factory, she realized that chocolate and paints are made with very similar machines, and that blew her away! That experience was the first time she thought about working with chocolate. A couple of weeks later, she stumbled into her first job as a chocolate maker. She learned how to make chocolate from cacao beans, and created fun and interesting truffle combinations. After 2 years working for someone else, she decided to start her own chocolate company and that is how ChocolateSpiel began.

In an interview with Angi, she told us her story: "I have always loved chocolate and baking, especially the combination. When I moved to the US, one of the first things I wanted to make was brownies. I thought great, it can’t be too hard to find the ingredients at a grocery store, right?

“In the grocery store, I was shocked that I could only find a handful (about 5 to 10) of different chocolate bars. In Germany, I would find at least 30 different bars. Without thinking much, I grabbed a bar that seemed most popular. Happy with my first all-alone-grocery-shopping-tour in a foreign country, I started baking. I wasn't happy about the taste of the chocolate bar I bought, but I thought it’ll do for brownies. Turns out I was wrong. I dumped the entire brownie batch into the garbage. I was so frustrated that I remember thinking to myself 'I will never bake again with American chocolate nor will I ever eat American chocolate again'. I’ve tried a couple of different brands from the grocery store and decided that I hated dark chocolate.

“A couple of months later, my husband got me a Fruition Chocolate Bar Sampler for Christmas. I liked some of the bars a lot, but other bars confused me because I didn’t know what to make out of it. Over time, I learned that chocolate that tastes like chocolate is great, but additionally, I learned that there’s a whole playground of flavors and textures.

“Honestly, I was a bit intimidated by the bean-to-bar community at first. There’s so much to learn and know. So when I decided to start ChocolateSpiel, I wanted to make it fun. I started out without any colors, but soon added colors into one of my bars and I saw the light in my customers’ eyes when they saw it. The sparkly, powerful and fun colors helped me build a bridge between bean-to-bar chocolate and my customers, making it less intimidating and more playful."

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