How Dude, Sweet Chocolate Began

How It All Began

Dude, Sweet Chocolate was co-founded in late 2009 by pastry chef Katherine Clapner using her decades of experience working with culinary icons across the globe.  The mission was to create a chocolate company that drew from global cuisines as well as using often ingredients seen as savory.  Katherine’s approach is to create extraordinary chocolates while leaving all the pretense behind.  The results have garnered a loyal fan base and numerous accolades over the years.  

Dude, Sweet Chocolate has one brick and mortar store where they retail the chocolate directly, and we maintain sales relationships with dozens of both local and out of state resellers, ranging from corner stores to Whole Foods, Central Market and winery and distillery operations. Katherine’s extensive and impressive pastry background also allows her to spread her wings and add chocolate to the most unexpected of ingredients.

Where We're At Today

Dude, Sweet Chocolate traces its roots to a dive bar just south of downtown Dallas, Lee Harvey's, where co-founders Chef Katherine Clapner and Redding May were regulars. Heading towards the holidays in 2008, he partnered with her to send unique artisan chocolates as client gifts while working with Merrill Lynch. After that, she ran with the idea - pushing her chocolate creations in summer heat at farmers markets and the like. Mid-year 2009, she brought up the idea of opening a store, and the first small kitchen/store was built-out and opened in early December that year.

At Dude, Sweet Chocolate we strive to differentiate ourselves by maintaining intense focus on the quality of the chocolates and not getting lost in the trends. At first glance, some ingredients and names may sound odd, but the end result is comforting and familiar. Kraft paper packaging, brown labeling, and simple, clean design shift attention to the chocolate, which stands on its own.

Another differentiating factor is the spectrum of unique flavor profiles she uses - savory to sweet, and everything in between. As an example, a couple of her best sellers are the Albatross blue cheese (award winning Rogue Creamery) and sea salt fudge, and our Fungus Amongus porcini and pumpkin seed toffee. These kinds of collaborations, done well, are the products of incredible culinary experience and vision - Katherine somehow makes it look easy.

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