Joan Coukos earned her stripes in the NYC banking scene after graduating from Duke with honors in French and Russian and nabbing an MBA from UNC Chapel Hill. After years of jet setting through cities like Moscow during the dog days of Russia’s transition to a market economy, Coukos was ready to treat herself, and she fell hard for the handmade, old-world chocolates she tasted on a trip to Brussels.
Never the type to rest on her laurels, Coukos didn’t just indulge—she sought nothing less than confection perfection. She set out to become a bona fide chocolatier herself by studying with world-class chocolatiers in America and Europe, seamlessly transitioning from high volume currency to high-brow confections. Soon enough, Coukos went from testing her treats on her finance cohorts to making TV appearances to tout her coveted, elegant creations. In its tenth year, Chocolat Moderne still uses only the highest quality couverture chocolate (the kind with the most cocoa butter!) from Valrhona and over 100 natural ingredients carefully sourced from around the globe. Every bar is still hand-made in New York City. No matter how fancy, we think chocolate like this is priceless.