The smell of chocolate hits me as I walk in the door. It is immediate, blanketing. Delicious, wonderful chocolate. This is the best idea I’ve had in ages.
“I had no idea where it was going to go. I really didn’t,” Kim Dagher told me about her home-based business with a sheepish grin.
Let’s backtrack. About five years ago, Kim was between jobs and thought, “This is the perfect time to open that small business that you’ve always wanted.” She had “jillions” of ideas of what that business could be and brainstormed for months. Finally a trip to Europe and Lebanon got her inspired by “the beautiful chocolates I saw everywhere and how people enjoyed them.” She reached out to her community to test interest (no shocker — it was high), drew up a business plan, took chocolatiering classes online and then, well… she just did it.
She became a chocolatier. Just like that.
People with Kim’s kind of drive amaze me. You want something, you do it. You make it real. What she’s done is wonderful.
Kim had always enjoyed cooking and dabbled in chocolate long before Savour Chocolatier; in “an amateur way.” Before making it her life and career, Kim says she always appreciated finely crafted chocolate and rarely wasted her taste buds on main-brand candy bars. Before launching her business, Kim spent a long time trying recipes out on her (luckiest) book club (ever), bringing them different versions of toffee, caramels, truffles, etc. At the time Kim launched Savour, she had four kids in middle school and high school — so it was really nice to be able to work from home. (Her business is in the basement!)
Home and community are very important to this Bangor-area based chocolatier. She works on a lot of custom orders, some for business like the Bangor Symphony Orchestra or the Penobscot Theatre Company, others for things like weddings, parties and other events. She’s constantly talking with local people, embracing their ideas and their stories and turning their chocolate dreams into reality. Some of the chocolates in her established line come as the result of vendors reaching out (i.e. Maine maple creams) and others are the result of her embracing the (literal) fruits of the state (Maine blueberry brittle. Yummmm.) And as if her love of community wasn’t already blatantly wonderful, Kim even hand-delivers all her chocolates to the stores that carry them — not because she has to. Because the people she stocks her chocolate with are now her friends.
The overall takeaway? Kim has had tons of support and helping hands throughout this journey that she deeply appreciates. Deeply, deeply.
“I’ve learned so much over the years,” she said. “But really my advice would be to take all the advice you can get from other people. Because really, it’s wonderful.”
So while chocolate was once a hobby and a dream for Kim, she’s definitely not a hobbyist now. All you have to do is pop one of her delicious confections into your mouth to know that. Or watch the video. Or, honestly, just look at these lovelies.
You can get Kim’s stuff mostly in the Bangor area (remember, hand delivered) — but there is one store in Portland that carries her stuff and one in Bath. And one in Massachusetts! (Yay home state!)
Now, please excuse me. I’ve got to go pre-game Valentine’s day with a box of Kim’s deliciousness.