Lindsay Tarnoff, the owner and chocolate maker at Laughing Gull Chocolates, moved to Rochester, NY in September of 2016. You wouldn’t know it from talking to her. In the short time she has lived here she established a location for her business in Rochester’s Public Market, connected with other local food business to use in her products, and can be found on the shelf right here at Hart’s Local Grocers.
“I had just established my business in Rhode Island, so naturally it was the perfect time to move,” Lindsay jokes. “I liked Rochester though because, although it sounds odd to say it, Rochester’s food scene is up-and-coming, but also well established.”
Lindsay grew up in Rhode Island with chocolate and sweets everywhere. Her family loved to bake and everyone had a sweet tooth. It wasn’t until college, though, that she toyed with the idea of starting her own chocolate business.
As a Spanish and Government major, Lindsay traveled to Mexico to study trade. Out of what she learned in her trip came the idea for her Capstone project on the history of the morality of chocolate. It was around that time that people started asking her what she was going to do after college. Her response? “I’m going to save the world with chocolate.”
Now 10 years later, you can find a version of that response on Laughing Gull Chocolates packaging. Her business is built on her passion for the story and history of chocolate as well as the want to educate the public through chocolate.
Linsday uses direct trade chocolate, which she explains is one step further than fair trade. The chocolate companies she purchases from focus on environmental sustainability and fair living wages as well as practice the harvesting of cacao in a way that benefits the land and people there. One of the companies she works with gives back to the rainforest, too.
In a box of Laughing Gull Chocolates you’ll find both classic and seasonal flavors. Her chocolate sauces, made with the same high-quality ingredients as her chocolates, are great for hot chocolate, baked goods, and ice cream topping. “My chocolate sauce started when people would sample my chocolate fillings and say ‘I just want to take that container home.’ So I started to think about how I could make that happen.” Stay tuned, because we hear there’s a peanut butter sauce on the horizon, too!
Interested in learning more about chocolate from Lindsay herself? Check out one of her upcoming workshops.