Follow Your Passion


I love stories about people who discover new passions, venture out on their own and start to really enjoy their lives. Often in the process, they build successful businesses. It is not a surprise that many of these stories begin with chocolate.

Joan Coukos was on holiday in Brussels when she was drawn toward a set of chocolate molds in an antique market. "I felt like I was on the verge of some discovery," said Coukos. "I couldn't put them down." When she returned to her home in New York City, she began devouring books about chocolate.

In the fall of 2001, with little knowledge of chocolate, she left the security of her job in banking and she decided to focus full-time on chocolate. She went to trade shows and food networking events and she began researching, experimenting and training with master chocolatiers. In 2003 she started her New York City based company, Chocolate Moderne.

Every piece of chocolate is a work of art and the collections are constantly changing. Some of the latest chocolate projects include collections for Valentine's Day as well as Greek Revival and the Kimono collections. The chocolate can be found online and in upscale food stores like Alegio, Dean and Deluca, The City Bakery, Russ and Daughters, Chelsea Market Baskets and Murray’s Cheese.
Although starting a new business can be an exhausting experience, Joan says that she wakes up in the morning excited to get to work. She has followed her passion and she has created a successful company.

Pay attention to your passions. Perhaps they will lead you to a new and exciting path. Be brave enough to follow your dreams, work hard and make time for chocolate.
“Chocolat Moderne silky truffles, crunchy pralines and soft caramel are all made with the finest French extra bitter chocolate and exotic ingredients. Molded and decorated by hand using airbrushing and stencils, signature flavors include Mon Petit Kumquat, Pumpkin Pique-Nique and La Dolce Grapefruit.” A Chocolate Lover’s Dream Phil Lempert