After many requests to bake for various events for her co-workers while working as IT senior project manager at Target’s headquarters, local resident Jessica Van Hemert decided it was time to pursue her real passion for baking full-time and start her own business, Haute Chocolate. One year later, she has been busy baking for weddings and events and caters for local businesses, including Primrose Park Boutique and Ze’s Diner. Van Hemert has also collaborated with The Olive Branch Oil & Spice Company at Woodbury Lakes for recipes, creating a lemon pound cake featuring their lemon olive oil, and Pour Wine Girl, which pairs dark red wine with her chocolate Godiva cupcakes.
“It’s really just been an excuse for me to play with sprinkles and frosting,” Van Hemert says. All jokes aside, the favorite part of her business is not the process of baking, but more so the giving part. “When you give someone a cupcake, cookie, or pie, it makes it worth it to see their face light up,” says Van Hemert, whose personal favorite is her vanilla raspberry cake.