The Birth of Kate Weiser Chocolates
Imagine being in your parent’s kitchen, smelling different savory flavors like spices, fresh herbs and fresh bread baking in the oven. Imagine seeing your father stirring the pot and letting you come take a peek inside of it. Imagine your dad explaining step-by-step how he made a certain stew for dinner.
This was Kate Weiser’s childhood. It was moments like these that inspired Weiser to study culinary arts and develop her passion for food.
Kate Weiser is an entrepreneur who makes hand-painted gourmet chocolates in the Dallas area. She has three Kate Weiser Chocolates retail storefronts, but her products are shipped nationwide. Weiser never thought she would be in this position, but she is grateful for the experiences that led her here today.
As a child, Weiser was often enamored by her dad explaining how their dinner meal for the day would be fixed.
“My family said I watched him cook like I was watching a cooking show,” Weiser said.
The banter they shared allowed Weiser to grasp the basics of preparing food. She described her dad’s cooking as a gift to the family and called him the head chef of the house. Weiser’s father became a role model to her.
As she aged, Weiser became more attracted to baking. Her eyes would widen in excitement as she saw sweet baked treats inside and outside of her household. She started investing her time in learning about the sweet side of foods.
Eight-year-old Weiser started collecting baking cookbooks, which allowed her to discover a whole different side of the kitchen. She always had her nose in a cookbook looking at ingredients for creamy chocolate mousses, designs for decadent cakes and the exquisite details put in the directions to make a flawless pastry recipe.
“It’s magical,” Weiser said. “I love looking at the photos and the artistry in them.”
Her fascination grew as she started experimenting. She created a ritual: every weekend she would pick one recipe from her countless baking cookbooks. She would choose a warm, apple pie with a cinnamon aroma one week and traditional, chewy chocolate chip cookies the next.
As time went on, Weiser started to hone in on her baking skills. Her routine started to include reading one recipe a night, right before bed. Instead of having her parents read her a fairy tale story, they would read to her about how to properly knead the dough for chocolate croissants. She fell in love with making desserts and being able to share her creations with friends and family.
“I just saw it as a really amazing hobby and passion,” Weiser said. “Collecting cookbooks over the course of my childhood was a huge thing. I still have every cookbook, I moved every cookbook from apartment to apartment, house to house.”
This passion turned into her career. After exploring what she wanted to do, Weiser finally decided after one semester of college to instead pursue culinary school. She loved every moment of it.
“You’re learning new techniques every day. You’re surrounded by incredible ingredients and these amazing chef instructors,” Weiser said.
Weiser got a job in no time; the young chef was so excited to join the culinary workforce that she didn’t even attend her own graduation.
“I was so excited to just get into the field and get into restaurants,” Weiser said. “It was so much fun, and I was thriving in that fast-paced environment of working the line.”
Weiser was the only pastry chef at Pachamama in Kansas, so she claimed the position of executive chef. She learned how to manage a production schedule, train line cooks, and plate desserts to present them to customers.
After learning different aspects of running a restaurant, she decided to change locations and move to Bluestem, a modern American cuisine restaurant in Kansas City, MO/KS, her hometown.
Making chocolates didn’t cross Weiser’s mind until after her second job. Before that, she was focused only on her desire to cook.
It was at Bluestem when Weiser’s curiosity and learning experience for desserts grew. She also found herself another role model. Her name was Megan Garrelts, and she was the co-owner and pastry chef for Bluestem. Weiser had many moments that opened her mind and made her think differently than what culinary school taught her.
She realized, “this is so you can really literally do whatever you want and make something that’s total pure creation that doesn’t follow these basic steps,” Weiser said.
Weiser went from learning all the traditional rules and following them, to completely ignoring them and trying to create different ways to make a dessert item.
The creativity and ideation made Weiser realize that she wanted to do that as a living. However, how did she get into chocolate specifically? Well, she wanted a challenge.
Chocolate, in Weiser’s view, is the most challenging dessert to make. Yet, it can be so rewarding once she finishes making a batch. Weiser spent four years in the chocolate industry to finally cultivate her style and technique to create items that are now the Kate Weiser Chocolates brand.
“It’s kind of a marathon and it’s definitely a lot of problem solving, and it can be frustrating at times, too, just because you expect things to come naturally after doing it for seven years. You just need to keep working at something in order to make it work so when it finally does it’s just like a huge win,” Weiser said.
Her creations and story inspire a lot of people, even her own employees.
Susan Boardman, a front of house employee for Weiser’s North Park location in Dallas, is a new member of the company. Boardman says she’s grateful for joining the chocolate making family.
At first, she didn’t even know who Kate Weiser was, but after going on her website and researching more about Weiser’s background, passion, and product, she was astonished.
“I went, ‘okay, this is pretty cool, I love how the art meets chocolate and how she does it herself and she hand paints each one’,” said Boardman.
Wesier’s origin story is only one part of her company. Kate Weiser Chocolates is blossoming as Wesier plans to expand the business in the next upcoming years.
“We have a really bright future, and I just can’t wait to see where we’re going to be,” Weiser said.