Our Story

Our roots are in chocolate. 

"In 2004, my wife and I bought our first chocolate franchise. Truthfully, we figured it would be a pretty simple, small business venture. How could we have trouble selling chocolate?! It was true. Selling chocolate was the easy part. But as the months turned to years, I felt this slow and subtle desire creep in. I wasn’t content. I had learned how to sell chocolate, but now I wanted learn how to make it. I wanted to create.

Before buying in to the franchise, I learned some of the chocolate business basics. I learned how to temper and coat food with chocolate, learned which pieces and flavor variants went best with certain seasons and holidays. But, that itch to create wouldn’t go away. I figured that knowing exactly how to make the chocolate I sold would give me an advantage as an owner-operator, but the itch went deeper than that. I just wanted to create. So, I did some research and bought a recipe book from Amazon. That’s when the real journey began.

I bought an induction burner, a pot, some miniature melters, and I began scouring my new recipe book cover to cover. I was obsessed. I started combining ingredients into my chocolate that were more often seen in high-end cocktails and dishes. I couldn’t stop. So for years, I meddled away in my own little lab. I spent hours perfecting the execution and consistency of the book’s recipes, and eventually started to develop and perfect recipes of my own. That’s when it hit me. I couldn’t sell these pear and goat cheese truffles in my franchised stores. I needed a new space to introduce my creations. I needed VB’s.

And here we are now, a thriving business in the heart of downtown Cottleville. We’re collaborating with local businesses to create special recipes. We’re sourcing our ingredients from local farmers. We’re supplying our community with high quality chocolate, pastries, ice cream, cocktails, and craft beer. We’re continuing to create. The itch is still there, and we’re excited to say that it’s not going away anytime soon."

– Conor Vanbuskirk, Owner and Chocolatier

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