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KRHA Member Spotlight: Beth Tully

Wednesday, May 20, 2015   (0 Comments)
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Cocoa Dolce Artisan Chocolates

Beth Tully

The story of Cocoa Dolce Artisan Chocolates has its origins in the dreams of its founder, Beth Tully.

Initially trained as a speech and language pathologist holding both a bachelor's and master's degree, Tully changed career paths several times, working in communications, marketing and sales before launching Cocoa Dolce Artisan Chocolates in Wichita, Kansas, in 2005.

"I couldn't be dishonest with myself anymore,” Tully expressed to The Wichita Eagle. “When I turned 50, I had this epiphany. I realized that up until that point in my life I'd never really done anything that I love to do. I was just punching the clock and moving through life instead of really living it."

 

Tully knew she had a choice to make. She could continue the course she had traveled up to this point (sacrificing her dream to provide financial security for her family), or she could take the risk and do something she truly loved. And so her journey began.

After completing training at Ecole Chocolat's Professional Chocolatier program and receiving her Master Chocolatier certification, Tully’s previous experiences served her well as she started Cocoa Dolce.

"I'd been making chocolate from the first holiday in 1979,” Tully explained, “and I made it every year after that for my friends and family. I realized that was the best time of my year, every year."

After the opening of her first location in Siena Plaza at 37th North and Rock Road, with one employee, Tully’s product was immediately recognized as exquisite and she quickly gained respect as an entrepreneur and Master Chocolatier.

Tully’s vision, combined with her passion for handcrafted natural chocolate, led to rapid expansion. In 2008, she opened an 1,875 square-foot, off-site production facility and only four years later, moved into Wichita's upscale Bradley Fair development.

In May, 2014, Cocoa Dolce opened its second store at Prairiefire, a mixed-use development in Overland Park, Kansas.

“Don’t limit your thinking,” Tully expressed to the Wichita Business Journal. “Be open to opportunities. What we all have to do is be present and aware of the things that we love to do. There's always value in pursuing what you're passionate about and what makes your heart happy."

As the nation’s second largest private sector employer, restaurants are driving our nation’s economic recovery, and women are leading the way with more than half of U.S. restaurants owned or co-owned by women.

Tully is a member of the Board of Directors of the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce and is a founding member of the Fine Chocolate Industry Association. She is also a member of the Kansas Restaurant & Hospitality Association, a former Board member of the Wichita State University Alumni Association and is very active with Youth Entrepreneurs of Kansas.

“Being a KRHA member not only offers many great benefits for my business, it also provides much-needed support to the industry as a whole,” said Tully. “For me personally, KRHA’s educational efforts, especially the ProStart program, is one of the greatest benefits of being a member. I love working with kids who are excited about the culinary arts and KRHA offers many ways for me to do this.”

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