Chocolate and love. They're so tied together, it can be hard to tell where one ends and the other begins.
That couldn't be more true for Mary and Sara Ervin: the two's story begins at the intersection of two love affairs – one with chocolate, and one with a boy. In true foodie fairy tale fashion, the two girls set out separately into the world, strutted and struggled, started and stopped. Then, girl met boy...but the boy was the other girl's brother. A fast friendship ensued, a shared passion for chocolate blossomed, and soon enough a lovely chocolate confectionery was born.
Mary and Sara's chocolate shop, Ethereal Confections, makes truly dreamy chocolate: expertly crafted thanks to countless classes, inspired by global flavors and fueled by a quiet perfectionism, the sisters-in-law have become something of a legend in their hometown of Woodstock, Illinois.
Their status as hometown heroes is made even stronger by the fact that they're dedicated to sourcing from local businesses and using organic, preservative-free ingredients; and the shop itself has become a community hub of sorts, with its wide range of offerings (from 30 types of truffles to small-batch roasted peanuts from Chicago) and full coffee, beer, wine and craft cocktail bars. The duo roasts their own chocolate directly from cocoa beans sourced from origins including Belize (our favorite!), crafting true bean-to-bar chocolate.
Spending their days surrounded by familial warm-and-fuzzies, community support and swoon-inducing chocolate, it's no surprise the shop is teeming with lovey-dovey vibes (the two girls even co-habitate, along with Sara's husband Michael Ervin!). We're certain that's what makes their treats so ethereal – all that love's gotta go somewhere, and it tastes like it made its way straight into the chocolate.