Founder Julie Nygard refers to The Chocolate Therapist as the intersection of her two loves of life: chocolate and nutrition.
Although she spent more than 18 years in the sporting goods industry, Julie studied nutrition her entire life. An athlete in her youth, she learned how to eat for performance and became intrigued by the way foods affected the body. She later studied nutrition in college, and eventually went on to receive a Nutrition Educator’s Certificate from Bauman Holistic Nutrition College in Boulder, Colorado.
From there, Julie created her own collection of chocolates with all-natural ingredients, embracing the clean-eating concepts she lives by, as well as supporting the research in the book. The shop officially launched as “The Chocolate Therapist” in October of 2008, right as the market was crashing and the country headed into a massive recession. It was a rough start, but she forged ahead believing what she had known for years–chocolate makes people happy, and this was the perfect time to start a chocolate company. She later added an espresso bar with gourmet coffee, creating a unique and successful business. Most recently, the shop added a self-serve wine bar where guests can select their own wine as well as a collection of chocolates to pair with wines. In January of 2020, Julie gave a TEDx presentation on the health benefits of chocolate.