V Chocolates: Loving Life as an OU Company

Ron Best has been making fine chocolates for 25 years, and friends say he has chocolate running through his veins. Five years ago, he found himself out of the chocolate business and selling insurance. It didn’t take long for the love of candy-making to pull him back into the business. In late 2004, Ron teamed with some friends and formed V Chocolates, to specialize in fine toffees, caramels and truffles.

Focusing on the finest and freshest ingredients, cooked in small batches and hand decorated and packed, Ron and his V Chocolates’ partners added very high-end elegant packaging and found a winning combination.

As V Chocolates grew and was introduced to national distribution opportunities, several changes needed to be made to fuel the company’s growth. According to V Chocolates President/CEO Mark Nelson, this presented big challenges for the fledgling company. “We suddenly found ourselves needing more sophisticated product elements such as UPC codes, shrink wrapping, export compliance, and case and pallet shipping capability. It was, and remains a challenge to keep up with the demands of our success and growth.”

One of the opportunities that became very important to V Chocolates during this early growth was becoming kosher certified. “We were often asked about kosher and knew that part of our success included obtaining the benefits of that certification,” said Nelson. After some market research, V Chocolates determined to go with the Orthodox Union and worked through the process. “We anticipate many benefits in the market place as well as in our own factory from adopting the kosher standards. It is a good step for us to take at this time, and we expect ongoing growth and increased business because of it.”

Now, V Chocolates is the OU’s newest certified chocolate company.

The future indeed looks sweet with V Chocolates’ six varieties of buttery, rich toffee, including its signature almond, as well as cashew, macadamia, pecan, hazelnut and pistachio. The company’s caramels are uniquely soft and smooth, and come half-dipped in milk or dark Belgian chocolate, with cashew, macadamia, pecan, and almond varieties. They are beautifully decorated and hand packed. Another customer favorite is V’s caramel pretzels. This delightful piece is a thin square of caramel with pretzels inside. It is a wonderful combination of mouth-watering caramel and a touch of kosher salt on a pretzel. Yummy!

V Truffles also are hand made in milk and dark chocolate. Popular flavors include key lime, chocolate, peanut butter, raspberry currant, tangerine, hazelnut, and mint. They are available, along with the caramels, in beautiful, small four-piece and eight-piece boxes, as well as in larger gift boxes.

Another exciting new area for the company is chocolate-covered strawberries. V Chocolates offers elegant gift boxes with amazingly presented Belgian chocolate-covered strawberries in a variety of packages. These delicious treats are made fresh the day ordered and sent overnight to the lucky recipient.

With an emphasis on fresh ingredients, hand-making and packing, and the highest quality packaging, V Chocolates is well positioned to continue to grow and to be successful. Kosher certification from the OU is an important piece of that positioning.

Ron Best and Mark Nelson of V Chocolates, along with the rest of their team, always point out the company’s slogan, which is LOVE * LIFE. Says Nelson: “We feel very fortunate and blessed to be able to work at something that is so sweet! We love life, and love to make these delightful chocolate products for people to enjoy everywhere!

More information is available at http://www.vchocolates.com

OU Kosher Staff