When Basehor resident Scott Hoffman wanted to surprise his wife, Carolee, with some chocolates for Valentine’s Day in 2009, the result was less than spectacular. They agreed the chocolates tasted terrible, but they were able to turn a failed romantic gesture into a successful business of chocolate making and in-home chocolate parties.

In 2011, Scott graduated from Ecole Chocolate’s Professional Chocolatier Program. He quickly excelled in concocting new flavors for chocolate making and their fledgling business, Chubby Bubba Chocolates, was born. “Bubba” was a nickname Scott gained after teaching a class at work, and “Chubby” seemed a perfect adjective as, according to Carolee, neither of them are toothpick thin.

When her girlfriends grew tired of doing the same thing each time they went out together, they looked for new activities they could do as a group. That was when Carolee started doing some research and saw a niche market of chocolate making parties that was not currently being met. There are some in-home chocolate making parties in the United Kingdom making truffles, but no actual chocolate making in-home parties in the United States, she said.

“My girlfriends like to get together but we got tired of always going out to dinner. We were looking for a fun activity,” Carolee said. “There is nobody else in the United States doing this, and I know that everyone loves chocolate. At our parties, we have a great time and everyone has permission to get messy.”

Carolee enjoys hosting several in-home parties each month for groups from everything from girlfriends and date night couples looking for a fun way to spend the evening to wedding parties making specially designed candies for the wedding reception to team-building experiences.

Once Carolee started hosting in-home parties to share her experienced gourmet chocolate making techniques, the business became known as Chubby Bubba Chocolates & ME. The “ME” now stands for “My Experience,” meaning the participant made the chocolates with the help of Chubby Bubba Chocolates, or the “ME” means “Made Exclusively” by you. Party-goers get to taste a variety of chocolates and go home with a designed box filled with their own creations.

The Hoffmans use only quality ingredients and make each ganache filling fresh, ensuring that the chocolates look and taste amazing. With more than 50 flavors of ganache developed by the couple, the top flavors include strawberry-lime, eggnog, Jack Daniels, peanut butter and jelly and chocolate chip cookie dough. Unusual flavors that have been created include rosemary, curry peanut butter, Chinese Five Spice and port wine.

“When selecting our chocolate, we tasted several kinds before going with a good tasting dark chocolate that tempers easily for our outer shells,” Carolee said. “We make all of our ganache fillings fresh using real cream, liquor, caramel, fruit and chocolate.” 

To find out more about the Hoffman’s business, visit www.ChubbyBubbaChocolates.com or visit their Facebook page for more information.

Beth Kornegay is a freelance writer covering news and events in the city of Basehor. If you have a story idea, email her at gabi_kansas@yahoo.com