Our Mission at VB chocolate bar is to go the opposite direction of most modern businesses. We are not interested in outsourcing, we are not interested in bringing in other people’s goods just to put in our box and tell you we make it. It’s an antiquated idea but it’s our core value. You can be assured if something is claimed to be made by us, it is made on site. This is more expensive and harder as you might expect, but that is the only reason we opened.
This also translates over to the bar where we highlight craft beer on tap and in bottles versus miller light or bud light buckets. For our coffee program we hand brew light roast, mostly single origin beans that switch out weekly. As part of our mission we have started to roast a portion of our own coffee packaged in our bags. To fill in the gaps we feature Intelligentsia, Kuma, and George Howell. From our passionate staff to your family, we look forward to serving you.
Conor VanBuskirk is the owner and head chocolatier of VB Chocolate Bar. With no prior experience in owning his own business Conor was enticed by the possibility of owning something he could develop and pass on to his children some day. Using his creativity, Conor taught himself the art of making truffles, caramels, marshmallows, toffees and anything he didn’t yet know how to make. He fell in love with the European style of hand painting truffles and combining unique and interesting flavors not found in the traditional candy store. Transforming an old, run down ranch house in historic downtown Cottleville, VB Chocolate Bar was created, a unique company with amazing desserts, drinks and coffee with an exceptional experience to top it off.
Stacey VanBuskirk is the driving force behind the business. As co-owner with husband Conor, Stacey wears many hats and has a passion for chocolate that matches that of Conor’s. If you were to go back and ask elementary aged Stacey what she wanted to be when she grew up, her reply would be “I want to be married to a guy who owns a chocolate store.” Pretty fitting don’t you think? Needless to say, she too has a love and appreciation for all things chocolate.
Paul Nahrgang is a professional barista and coffee connoisseur. He started and developed the coffee program at VanBuskirk Artisanal which opened its doors in October 2012. His position oversees the coffee program and includes; developing and manufacturing new products, quality control, barista training, roasting and ordering exciting new coffees along with building/maintaining relationships with our coffee whole-sale clients. Paul’s career in coffee began at a corporate chain in 2006 working as a barista trainer and coffee educator. Knowing that coffee had the potential to be more than the burnt tasting milk-shakes being thrown out of the drive-thru window, he sought out like-minded people and hoped to bring this crazy concept of “good tasting, high quality coffee” to his hometown in St. Peters. Fate soon met him at a table in Cottleville across from owner, Conor VanBuskirk, where they indulged in a box of truffles, a French press and a great cigar. In that meeting, their individual passions for chocolate and coffee merged and the plans for collaboration began to take root.
Lisa Berdeaux oversees the creation of all things specialty from the bar. With nearly 22 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Lisa has gained an appreciation for well-made cocktails, sipping whiskey, tasting scotch and great wines. With experience working in night clubs, restaurants, hotels, concert venues and more, she has really honed her craft and become an expert in her field. Now putting roots down in Cottleville’s own VB Chocolate bar, Lisa is responsible for everything from overseeing specialty cocktails and the VB Tasting Menu to maintaining relationships with vendors and training new staff.