Craftsmen work in all types of mediums. In this case, Dustin Taylor and Adam Dick of Dick Taylor Chocolate went from working with wood to making craft chocolate. And where better to start a homegrown business than the local lumberyard where they were longtime customers.
Almquist Lumber had an empty espresso bar in its retail section that was a licensed food space. This space became Dick Taylor Chocolate’s first factory. “The place smelled like chocolate all the time. Chocolate and wood, what a combination,” Jeni Sue Wilburn, Almquist Lumber employee said.
The two businesses seemed to benefit each other. People came for tours of both the lumberyard and the chocolate factory, and Almquist employees got discounted prices on chocolate. Wilburn remembers getting free samples in the early days, “as they were figuring out blends.”
As the craft chocolate business began to take
off, the factory leased more space and expanded into the lumberyard, eventually
out growing it. There was also the issue of noisy factory machinery interfering
with phone calls and daily business in a retail lumberyard. Earlier this year
Dick Taylor Chocolate relocated to its own building in
Even though the chocolate factory has moved to a larger location, the two homegrown businesses will always be linked. In fact, Almquist Lumber continues to sell Dick Taylor Chocolate in its retail store.