2024 Updates at Grocer's Daughter Chocolate

Dear friends,

I'm writing with updates from our shops as we kick off the celebration of Grocer's Daughter Chocolate’s 20th birthday in 2024! It’ll be a year full of fun promotions, special classes and some exciting new offerings in the shops this summer. We’re also facing new challenges like the unprecedented price spike in the global cocoa industry and what it means for us and the chocolate industry in general.

First, and most importantly, I want to say thank you for supporting us all these years. We are forever grateful and proud to carry on the legacy of Mimi Wheeler, our founder and chocolate fairy godmother. She was, in fact, a grocer's daughter in the small village in Denmark where she grew up! Never satisfied with the chocolate she could find here in the US, in 2004 Mimi founded Grocer’s Daughter Chocolate and quickly developed a devoted following of chocolate lovers. And we’re so glad she did! Cheers to Mimi and Grocer's Daughter Chocolate!

We have lots of new things happening at the shops I'm excited to share with you:

Packaging & website refresh

We couldn’t be happier with the work of OB & Co Media on our new packaging and website design. Have you seen our cast of adorable chocolate characters, illustrated by our wildly talented friend Brianne Farley? We also released a new collectible truffle menu series this year featuring original art by Brianne, inspired by a truffle flavor. The first release is Lavender - make sure to get one next time you're in the chocolate shop!

The packaging update is motivated by our goal to move all packaging to the most environmentally benign solution possible. Our hope is to eliminate all plastic packaging and adhesives that aren’t biodegradable in the near future. Little by little we’re getting there and you’ll continue to see more packaging upgrades in months ahead.

The gelato shop adds grab-n-go food

We're headed into the third season of our gelato shop and we can't wait to open Memorial Day weekend. DC and the gelato team are working on recipes for the summer and a few new frozen treats too. I taste-tested a Leelanau Cheese Fromage Blanc vanilla swirled with a house made raspberry jam and it was super delicious. Gelato lovers, you're in for a treat! Other exciting news is that we’re adding grab-n-go picnic food this summer. We’ll have a rotating menu of Role Model spring rolls, sandwiches, salads & grain bowls from Mel and Fell and Inn and Trail plus other charcuterie-style foods and a variety of Michigan-made salty snacks and beverages. This will be our test summer for grab-n-go so let us know what you think!

Chocolate Subscriptions

In December of 2023 we launched our new chocolate subscriptions - these are so much fun to create each month! Each box is themed, with a newsletter about the ingredients we use, our sourcing philosophy, interesting facts about chocolate, etc.

We're working on new ways to bring our chocolate community together and, coming this summer, is our GDC Chocolate Lover's Club, a low-commitment membership club for folks who want to geek out about chocolate and celebrate being good humans!


Last October we were given the opportunity to rent a house in Empire for staff housing. This is our first time securing housing for employees so it'll be a good learning opportunity for us, as well. We’re thrilled that we’ll be hosting 4 students from Russia, China, Jamaica and Colombia this summer as J-1 cultural exchange students and we look forward to welcoming them to the Empire community. We hope you get the chance to meet them!

Other good news from Grocer's Daughter Chocolate

In 2023 we had our first $1 million sales year. Thank you for helping us reach this small business milestone! I figured it was time to ask for help from some trusted business friends - most of whom have been championing Grocer's Daughter Chocolate for many years- and formed a Board of Advisors, who’ll support us in steering the Grocer's Daughter Chocolate ship into the future (Thank you Margaret, Joan and Michael, Jim, Ford, Terry, Kathy, Nate and Christoph!)

A trip to Ivory Coast

Max and I joined Dr. Bronner’s sourcing team (truly the most committed sourcing folks on the planet!) on a trip to visit an Ivorian women-led cooperative called KANY in October. It was our first visit to cocoa fields in West Africa and the KANY team were incredibly generous and kind hosts, motorcycling us through the rainforest after our jeeps became stuck in huge mud puddles! There is no denying the gross inequities of the cocoa industry after visiting rural Ivorian cocoa farming communities, where many people live without access to education and potable water, despite decades of promises by big chocolate to eradicate poverty in cacao-growing communities. It’s deplorable and unacceptable. We hope to add KANY chocolate to our offerings in the future - they are an inspiring association of women cacao farmers (the first of its kind in Ivory Coast) who use digital payments directly to women members to ensure that women are receiving income to care for their families.