Satisfying more than a Sweet Tooth

Satisfying more than a Sweet Tooth 
One local chocolate boutique is the prime spot for indulging a dessert craving. Read on to learn how one woman's labor of love led to hundreds of new confectionery creations.

You've heard of Willy Wonka, the Cake Boss, and Ben and Jerry — all notable confectionery personalities that have won their way into our hearts and onto our taste buds. It may be time for them to step aside, however, as the sweet creations of one local woman have flair never before seen (or tasted) in the dessert industry.


Literally translated, the word "haute" means "highest" or "most sincere." This is exactly the kind of service and product quality Haute Chocolate Owner Lisa Cooper Holmes aims to provide through her unique confections.


Cooper Holmes' confectionery career began in 1979 with a pipedream. "I started my career totally in my head," Cooper Holmes says. "I envisioned a place that I would want to work in every day. I decided that if I was going to get up and go to work every day, I wanted to go to a place where I had a lot of fun."


This attitude led to a focus on desserts, which grew into concepts for a logo and storefront. And eventually a flourishing chocolate boutique was up and running.


Cooper Holmes and the Haute Chocolate team credit much of the company's success to their willingness to take a risk and try something new with their sweets. "We are very dedicated to making sure that we use the classic style of confectionery, yet we really welcome the opportunity to take the safe confectionery concepts and renovate them to take it to a new level that's not been tried before," she says.


Since the opening of the first Haute Chocolate store in 1988, the team has created and sold more than 300 new products — many of which came through customers' imaginations. "We love it when a customer comes in and says 'I've got an idea,' " Cooper Holmes says. "We try to run with it and help our customer realize a concept and then materialize it in front of them."


One of the most exciting customer-generated ideas in Cooper Holmes' career centered around an Italian wedding. The clients were parents of a bride-to-be who wanted to give their daughter a magnificent table statement for her wedding. The table was to be completely made up of Italian wedding confections. Haute Chocolate was able to honor classic Italian confectioneries while adding its own style to build a beautiful, bold table statement that many attendees claimed outshone the cake. See the finished product here.



"It was a really big excitement for not only the team at Haute Chocolate, but for our guests," Cooper Holmes said of the event.


The creativity surrounding Haute Chocolate has formulated more than 15 different truffle flavors, golf ball-sized buckeye treats and custom confectionery marketing products for big-name corporate clients among many other custom products.


Bringing all these different aspects together to support her concept is the most fulfilling aspect of Cooper Holmes' career. "It's truly a dream come true," she says.


Customers have brought more success to her career than even innovative confectionery designs, she says. The customers give them great ideas and drive their business.


"It's really compelling that [the customers] consistently support Haute Chocolate," she says. "Because we're not the dry cleaners and we're not the grocery store. We're confectionery."

Photographer: Brenna Sullivan
Haute Chocolate 

Brenna Sullivan -

Brenna Sullivan is Cincy Chic's multi media intern. Send her an e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .Read More >>

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