A Food Business Model Journey with Leanne Cordisco


In Edible-Alpha® Podcast Episode #7, Tera talks with Leanne Cordisco of the Chocolaterian Café about her path as an entrepreneur and what led her to her current food business model.  The Chocoleterian is a 3rd space in the style of a French patisserie, where people can relax and treat themselves.

Leanne started out as a biomedical engineer building/repairing anesthesia and x-ray machines. After working in corporate setting for 25 years she decided she wanted to start her own business. Through a business professor, she was connected with Sam Jacobson, the founder of PDQ and father of the modern convenience store, who convinced her to open a candy store using local ingredients and became her first investor.  She started out making a toffee with Belgian chocolate, French sea salt, and Wisconsin cream for wholesale via a local distributor.  Once her bacon toffee caught people’s attention at the state fair, she was asked to provide her toffees for the 2000 Emmys celebrity gift bags, prompting a trip to Hollywood and national recognition.

She realized that she was on a path to becoming a national brand, but didn’t want to raise the equity and other funds to cover the at least $1 million of upfront costs.  She opened Chocolaterian as another revenue stream and more immediate source of cash flow.  Now, this retail concept of a 3rd space with wine and chocolate is now her main business model.  Leanne was able to actualize her vision in a different way than she originally thought, and has been so successful she has opened a second location.  She still has had to raise a lot of money from both investors and banks to finance her activities, and cites the importance of building strong relationships with those people as essential to her success.

You need to purchase a PREMIUM SUBSCRIPTION to view and manage your Edible-Alpha library. If you already made a purchase, Login to access your account.