There are family businesses where a trade is passed down from generation to generation, and there are family businesses where parents and children work together – and then there are those rare family businesses, like Zoë’s Chocolate Company, where both are happening.
Pantelis, Zoë and Petros Tsoukatos were raised in chocolate: George, their father, learned the art of chocolate-making from his Greek-born uncle, who sold hand-rolled chocolates from a pushcart in Baltimore, MD – a business that eventually moved to Waynesboro, PA, and where George continued to make chocolate even after his uncle’s business closed. In 2005, George was laid off. Pantelis, Zoë and Petros had been pursuing other careers – Zoë has a master’s degree in public policy and international development – but when their father found himself out of work, the three kids moved back to their Pennsylvania hometown and put all their weight behind helping their father create his dream: an artisan chocolate shop that would bring a modern sensibility to his traditional methods of confectionary.
Today, they craft their Mediterranean-inspired chocolates and seasonal treats together: Zoë runs operations while her brothers and father cook up the candies. And the business, which could have been merely a local kids-and-pop operation, has grown into a nationally recognized brand: Zoë’s has created chocolates for the Oscars and the Emmys, custom bonbons for actor Zach Galifianakis’s wedding and is beloved by Oprah.
Zoë’s Chocolate Co. is truly a family affair, and it’s truly delicious.