After moving back to the states from Costa Rica in 2014, Bonnie and Van Glass jumped at the opportunity to buy Euphoria Chocolate Company, a favorite local business in Eugene. While neither had owned a brick-and-mortar business before, they thought it was the perfect fit with Bonnie’s passion for food and the couple’s desire to get involved with the Eugene community.
“We thought we might as well make a go of it,” Bonnie says. Since 2014, Euphoria has grown under the new couple’s ownership, but the company has always stayed focused on the community it serves. “Euphoria has grown into what it is because the community supports it, so it’s our responsibility to give back and support the community,” she says.
Euphoria Chocolate Company has partnered with large Lane County nonprofits, like St. Vincent de Paul and FOOD for Lane County. They also sponsor the arts. Bonnie has long been drawn to the variety of performance art that Eugene offers, from Broadway shows and original ballets to the symphony, and she wanted to ensure that locals have a chance to see such talent right in their own backyard.
“I want everybody to feel that the arts are open to them,” she says, “so we support organizations that take on that same mission.”
Euophoria tries to source local ingredients for its delicious chocolate as well. They are longtime Lochmead Dairy supporters and use them for all of their dairy needs. They procure their dried fruit from Oregon farms and use Oregon wine for their wine truffles. They even switched their box supplier to a local company in Oregon. “It’s slightly more expensive, but we know we are helping support an Oregon business, and that makes all the difference,” Bonnie says.
They also pull inspiration from their local surroundings for their delicacies. “We started making beer truffles because, well—Oregon,” Bonnie says. “It seemed like a no-brainer.”
With the holidays approaching and the COVID-19 virus still at large, Bonnie says they have felt its impact like every other business. They are putting a lot of effort into making sure they drive traffic to Euphoria during the months leading up to Christmas and Valentine’s Day, while also strategizing new and safe ways for shoppers to get their chocolate fix.
“The only way we can be here is if people continue to come out and buy from us, and we can continue to make great chocolate,” she says. Currently, they offer curbside pickup and are working on an easy-to-use online shopping option.
Even with all of the uncertainty that this year has brought, their third storefront is still on track to open in Maker’s Row in the new Fifth Street Market expansion. The store won’t be open until early 2021, but their two other locations are stocked full of goodies to get you through the cold months. Euphoria’s eggnog truffle—their signature winter flavor—will be in high demand, as will be, surprisingly, their chocolate-dipped ice cream bars.
“We have a fanatical group of folks who, as the weather gets colder, the more they crave chocolate-covered ice cream,” Bonnie says. Good chocolate doesn’t seem to be seasonal, which is a good thing for Bonnie and Van—and Eugene.
While exciting new ideas and products were put on hold due to COVID-19, Bonnie always reminds herself of the saying, “Don’t be afraid of change.” And as she and her staff navigate through this uncertain time, the community has remained a focal point. Day in and day out, they work hard to figure out ways to be a business that is not only up and running, but thinking about how they make a difference in their community as well.
“My staff has really grabbed onto that value, and I love that about my employees,” she says.
Great chocolate, good people, and a small business that works hard at giving back to its community: What a treat it is to have Euphoria Chocolate Company here in Eugene.
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