We’re a family of chocolate artisans. The Dietz and Ciordia families, to be exact. The Secret Chocolatier was conceived when Chef Bill Dietz found himself at a career crossroads. He called a family meeting with his wife, Karen, their daughter Robin Ciordia and her husband Andy, and we four foodies decided to take the plunge into entrepreneurship. Three years later, after building a following at local farmers markets and retailers, we responded to public demand for a storefront where customers could get their chocolate moment five days a week.
And we’re writing chocolate history every day.
Bill learned his craft at the knee of his Pennsylvanian grandfather, then pursued career as pastry chef. That pursuit carried him over thirty years from Myrtle Beach’s Grand Strand and Columbia, South Carolina to the Sonoma Group in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he worked as executive pastry chef for three acclaimed restaurants. He longed to work with chocolate more intensively and now does so in our shop. When you experience a chocolate cake or brownie pop, just think about it--you’re having a chocolate moment that was thirty years in the making.
Karen provides the charm and conversation to visitors in our shop. Her friendly disposition led her to a career in church something-or-other, and now she brings her listening skills and desire to make people happy to our family enterprise. The highly-kenetic Karen also creates infusions and hand shapes our delicious chocolates when her husband, Chef Bill, needs her delicate touch.
When you learn that Robin was once a preschool teacher for special needs children, you understand the training ground for being an effective multi-tasker who executes with grace under fire! You might run into Robin back in the kitchen helping her father, Chef Bill, with baby Logan strapped to her back or maybe you’ll have the pleasure of sitting down with her to plan a menu for an event. Some day she hopes to don the mantle of Chief Chocolatier.
Andy is the family firm’s Swiss Army Knife. He fits in wherever he’s needed, but his strength is in the marketing and business management arenas. In addition to running the un-glamorous parts of the family business he advises a number of small businesses in the Carolinas who need his technology, photography and design skills. He took all the photos on our site, which he also built and optimized for web sales. He and Robin once published a book on organic farms in North Carolina and he is active in the Slow Foods movement.
Born on July 15th, 2011 Logan is the newest addition to the family and can very often times be found at the shop strapped to his mother Robin while she works her magic. He seems right at home and we all look forward to this little bundle of joy growing up in a chocolate shop. Read more about The Littlest Chocolatier. (Updates soon! He's not so little anymore!!)
In the media -- see how others see us..