Story
In 1998 while leading a $28 million division of a New England supermarket chain, Lauren Adler read about a job opening at a new online bookstore (a little outfit called Amazon). She made the move to Seattle; however, she knew even then that eventually she wanted to open a brick and mortar shop. “I’ve always loved the business of retail [and] I knew I always wanted to be in something food related,” Lauren remembers.

Now a sought after chocolate expert (or chief chocophile, as she is known on social media), Lauren Adler’s relationship with chocolate began as many do. She ate chocolate, she loved chocolate, she loved to eat chocolate, but she knew very little about chocolate. So, she went to library, started researching, and got hooked. Having grown up in Washington D.C., she was fascinated by the world of chocolate – its politics, its foreign affairs, its trade relations – and knew she wanted to be a part of it.

So, she decided to open an expertly curated craft chocolate shop. When she opened Chocolopolis in 2008, “people really didn’t know craft chocolate,” she explains. At the time, there were only seven makers in the U.S. Since then, the market has grown exponentially, and Chocolopolis has built a dedicated customer base, many of whom have become dear friends.

Interacting with customers, new and old, is Lauren’s favorite part of her job. She loves teaching people about chocolate and helping customers discover their favorite bars. To that end, she holds chocolate tasting classes every month. “It is a very personal experience,” she continues, “The only way you’re going to know if you like it is tasting it.” Customers can even put their chocolate palates to work as part of a Blind Tasting Panel, which helps vet bars that may be added to the shop’s collection. Ultimately, it is this sense of community that makes Chocolopolis so special.
Fun Fact
In 2018, Lauren and longtime customer Barbie Van Horn founded the Pacific Northwest Chocolate Society, a “community of chocolate enthusiasts who meet monthly to have fun while tasting, pairing, evaluating, and learning about chocolate.”
Business Owner
Lauren Adler