MONUMENT — To be transported to a parallel universe in taste, try a truffle from 1492 Chocolates, a new company started by an executive pastry chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu. Eat it in small bites to elongate the delight.
Operated by Courtney Lundin and her parents, 1492 Chocolates has been in business just weeks, but already has gained a loyal following of Monument residents who come by the 174 Washington St. shop for their daily truffle.
“I dreamed up the company and started in June,” Lundin said, first working out of her parents’ Monument home. She built her reputation by donating her items to charity, Tri-Lakes Cares, and to benefit victims of the Black Forest fire and those working to extinguish it.
“We are very community-based,” she said. “We pride ourselves on giving back.”
People asked her where they could buy the delicacies, so she figured she should open a retail outlet.
Prior to her culinary career, Lundin worked as a model in Florida. There, during off hours, she took classes at Le Cordon Bleu, the culinary college based in Paris, and became an executive pastry chef. When modeling ended, she moved to El Paso County, where her parents lived.
“I worked at The Broadmoor for a while before I decided to do my own thing,” Lundin said. At the resort, she worked her pastry skills and created edible works of art.
According to her website, thechocolatelife.com, creating edible chocolate has been her passion, so she opened her own shop with the help of her parents, Mark and Deb Lundin. She named it 1492 Chocolates because “like Christopher Columbus discovered America, you can discover America through chocolate,” she said.
Along those lines, Lundin created a unique truffle flavor for each state. Colorado’s truffle has trail mix, apricots, walnuts and toasted oats. North Carolina is known for a soda called cheerwine, so her North Carolina truffle is cheerwine flavored. Florida has a keylime truffle; Tennessee’s is the Blue Suede Elvis.
Her Florida truffle earned the grand champion open-class truffle at the Colorado Chocolate Festival at The Broadmoor, and the cheerwine truffle won second overall.
“It was pretty exciting,” Lundin said. “It’s humbling. I was so taken off guard.”
She started her business for $20,000 “on my parents’ credit card,” she said.
Individually, the truffles cost $1.75, and she sells boxes of nine, 12, 16 and 24 pieces for $18, $23, $30 and $47, respectively. Lundin also creates turtles, candy bars and caramels. The delights have no preservatives or high-fructose corn syrup.
“They actually have a low sugar content,” Lundin said.
She will be creating Bronco-colored treats in time for the Super Bowl.
Lundin makes small batches and is closed Mondays and Tuesdays to create her chocolate delights. Store hours are Wednesday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.