Happiness is a Thing Called Chocolate
Cheryl Scripter wants only one thing for her clients as they walk through the doors of Bittersweet Confections: happiness.
“We want our customers to walk in and immediately have a smile on their faces,” she says.
Since Feb. 14, 2002, Scripter has been making plenty of people smile with her sweet treats. She started her company selling handmade truffles at the farmers’ market on Girod and Magazine. In a weekend she’d easily sell 100 boxes.
“I love her white chocolate covered strawberries,” says long-time customer John Hill. “She’s a real chocolatier in the old Belgium tradition. She’s very high end — everything she puts together uses the very best ingredients and it all tastes so good.”
Scripter has parlayed her skills into a prospering business with 25 employees — Bittersweet Confections. Her main store, in the Warehouse District, has 2,000 square feet with an intimate café up front and a large bakery/kitchen in the back. She also has a second location at the St. Roch Market.
Scripter gravitated to the world of chocolate after developing a background in business and working for years in public relations.
“I never went to culinary school but taught myself how to so such things as tempering chocolate,” she says. “I took lots of classes. Whenever visiting chefs came into town and offered a class, I went to improve my technique. I still take classes for inspiration.”
Before she visits a city or country she makes a list of the restaurants, cafes and bakeries she wants to experience during her stay. One recent vacation to St. Lucia was built around a desire to deepen her chocolate education. She spent a week at a cacao plantation.
“I learned how much water each plant needs, how to graft and how important it is to be sustainable,” she says. “It was an eye-opening experience. I discovered chocolate was even more sacred than I thought it was.”
Scripter’s business is thriving with loyal locals and lots of tourists who stop on their way to and from their treks to the National WWII Museum. On average she serves 100 clients a day at her Magazine street location.
She says she now spends a majority of her time in management but still finds time on her days off to create new flavor profiles.
More than just chocolate, Scripter serves breakfast and lunch and creates custom cakes. According to popular wedding source The Knot, Bittersweet is a top-pick for wedding cakes. Scripter does everything in-house, with the exception of using Creole Creamery ice cream, and uses locally sourced ingredients and herbs right out of her garden.
She says she will soon be serving alcohol and will be offering such things as chocolate and wine pairings.
“You have to be diversified to be sustainable,” she says. “You can’t put all your eggs in one basket. I don’t let the grass grow under my feet.”
725 Magazine St.,