An Interview with Dallas Chocolate Fest Founder Sander Wolf

HelloFestival Director Emily Mantooth, Dallas Chocolate Festival scholarship recipient Thuy-Linh Nguyen, & Sander Wolf

We're excited about upcoming Dallas Chocolate Fest Friday the 8th - Sunday the 10th. We wanted to know more about its beginnings, so we shot  Dallas Chocolate Fest Founder Sander Wolf some questions.

ILIVE: What spurred your love of chocolate & artisan chocolatiers? Did any childhood experiences play a role?

Sander: It’s been said that everyone has a childhood story about a Hershey bar and I’m no exception to that. But once I started hearing the stories of the people laboring to make craft chocolate as flavorful as possible I was fascinated and immediately wanted to do something to get those stories more attention.

ILIVE: According to your LinkedIn profile, you have had a long and stable career as a Systems Engineer. How have you had time to put on this conference for the last eight years? Is your employer understanding?

Sander: Doing the Chocolate Festival makes me better at my day job. It’s a good chance to work on building relationships and to keep things in perspective.

ILIVE: Is there a formula or template for putting on a great chocolate conference? Did you have any mentors guide you along the way?

Sander: I’ve been going to a lot of different food festivals to steal all their good ideas. :) Everyone in the chocolate community is pretty forthcoming when you need help or suggestions. I hope what we’ve cobbled together really respects the vendors and opens up new things for our attendees.

ILIVE: What's different this year?

Sander: After seven great years in Addison, we’ve moved to the FIG in Downtown Dallas. It’s a larger venue so we can accommodate more vendors and attendees. We also have more room for classrooms so we have two tracks of classes and an all-day chocolate making room for people to visit while they’re at the Festival.

ILIVE: What do you foresee for the future of Dallas Chocolate Fest presented by DallasChocolate.org?

Sander: It’s always hard to think past the current year. One thing we realized this year was that there are a lot of pastry chefs and bakers doing great things with chocolate that we really haven’t featured before. We’re using our Chocolate Cake Walk event on Friday night to highlight a lot of them. That’s something we want to keep getting better at - finding all the unique chocolate items being made by passionate craftspeople and bringing them wider attention.

Pick up your tickets to Dallas Chocolate Fest here. Learn more at DallasChocolate.org.

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