Keeping A Sweet Business Dream Alive - An Interview with William Winand of William Winand Chocolatier
These days, William Winand spends much of his time in a small kitchen inside the Cornish General Store, making and shipping handcrafted artisan chocolates, desserts and other confections. It may seem like a surprising pastime for a man who has spent much of his life working in computer technology. But for Winand, it’s getting back to his roots. Winand has more than 35 years of experience crafting fine French influenced pastries and chocolates. After first studying at a pastry school in Maryland in his 20s and working in some hotels and shops around Boston, Winand had the opportunity to train at a famous pastry school outside of Paris.
While in France, he worked at La Maison du Chocolat, a small shop at the time that today ships its world-renowned chocolates across the globe. When Winand returned to the US, he planned on opening his own pastry shop, but ended up feeling disenchanted with the pastry business in the U.S. So, he decided to set his sights on what he thought would be a more stable career: computers. And while Winand has now worked in the computer technology field for decades, he never let go of his pastry dreams all together.
He’s started and closed a few chocolate businesses over the years, most recently running a shop in Woodstock, VT until about 2010. After closing that business, he continued to make chocolates from home out of a professional kitchen in his basement. When Winand and his family moved to New Hampshire a few years ago, he no longer had his home kitchen. But he knew he wasn’t ready to let go of making chocolates.
In March 2021 he opened up shop in the Cornish General Store kitchen, and Winand said he sees this business as his retirement plan, growing the business and keeping it running after retiring from his day job in a few years.
While he’s seen the ups and downs of business before, Winand said he’s confident that the support he has received from the Cornish community and his local SCORE chapter will help him be successful. Winand said his SCORE mentor, Gene Calvano, has been a critical supporter in this latest endeavor, helping him overcome the day to day challenges of running a business so he can grow and scale his operation.
Today, Winand said he’s looking forward to the future of his chocolate shop, and that he’s grateful he is once again doing the work he truly loves. “It’s an outlet for me to share my skill with the community and others at large,” Winand said. “It provides not only the products but the ability to make people happy and to interact with people.” You can shop with William Winand Chocolatier at the Cornish General Store or online. Shipping is available to many parts of the country. To learn more, please visit https://www.williamwinandchocolatier.com/.
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