Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Daniela Blondet, owner of Olde Naples Chocolate, located in Naples, FL.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

My business is Chocolate! Olde Naples Chocolate is my brand, and my team handcrafts all of our products in our shop in Naples. We specialize in Chocolate, and our main target is to make people happy. It’s impossible not to have a smile once you come to the store and try our chocolates! We put lots of love and effort into preparing our Truffles, Chocolate Bars, Chocolate Snacks, Specialty Chocolates like alligators and seashells, and other delicious chocolate products. Customers can buy pre-packed products online or choose their favorite flavors and make their own boxes at the store. We sell to direct customers and also to business customers. We are able to customize our truffles and packaging with the Business Logo. We like to include our Naples vibes in all of our products and packaging, and we have specialty Florida-themed chocolates, from seashells to gators.

Tell us about yourself

I was born and raised in Peru, where I studied food technology, and I have been working in the food industry since then, and it's been 20 years!!!! I own a small Yogurt Company called La Abuela, and we sell the yogurt in supermarkets in Lima. I love to create new things, and I’m very passionate about food, especially good-quality food. I love Research and Development, and I do not stop until the flavor and quality of the product are perfect.

When we found out in 2018 Olde Naples Chocolate was for sale, I got really excited because it was a beautiful business, and the chocolates were delicious. What I like the most about my chocolate business is that everybody loves Chocolate! You can eat it at any time and in any situation, and it's perfect for kids and grown-ups, to share or for yourself, and it's perfect for gifts; who doesn’t like to receive chocolates?

What motivates me is the versatility of it and all the creativity involved in the development of new chocolate products. There are so many different things we can do with chocolate that it's fun to work with.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Three years ago, we moved from Peru to Naples. My husband, my daughter, and myself. We bought Olde Naples Chocolate and started our new life. I had to learn everything about the chocolate business, chocolate production, and how the companies worked in the USA. It was and (still is) a whole new experience for me. Keeping my business and the motivation under the hard circumstances we all have lived through since the pandemic in 2020 and all the difficulties with sourcing and finding people to work with until now, I think it's one of my biggest accomplishments.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Being a business owner means you are 24/7 thinking about it. You are responsible for everything involved in the business, sales, payroll, production, quality control, payments. You never stop. It’s easy to forget why you even started it and why you enjoy it and to lose track. One of the hardest things to do is to work on not forgetting the “why,” keep track, motivate yourself, and enjoy it.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

For people thinking of running a new business, first, be passionate about it. It's important that it's something you really want and you really believe in since you will need to fight for it.

Second, if possible, find a partner with different qualities and strengths than yours. Working by yourself is hard. Working with someone as motivated as you is great, but the important thing is that your partner adds value to developing the business and not being another headache.

And third, find ways to keep yourself motivated because no one will do it for you.

Where can people find you and your business?

If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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