Chuao Chocolatier

American Made Since 2002

Michael Antonorsi

San Diego, California
Chuao Chocolatier was founded in 2002 to spread joy to the world through creative chocolate experiences that arouse the senses.

Tell us about your business.

Chuao Chocolatier was founded on the idea that it's never too late to follow your dreams. Chef Michael Antonorsi had a successful tech career in Venezuela, but, in his mid 30’s, decided to stop chasing his ego and finally follow his dreams of becoming a chef. He moved to Paris with his wife and kids to attend culinary school, specializing in chocolate. Chef Michael and his brother Richard met up in San Diego, where they had attended college, to open the first Chuao Chocolatier boutique & café in 2002. Our mission is to spread joy to the world through creative chocolate experiences that arouse the senses. We handcrafting our culinary-driven chocolates with ethically sourced cacao and all natural ingredients, lovingly layering flavors and textures in each bite. Chef Michael says,"if it's not a WOW, it's not Chew-WOW!" We believe in that good taste is not limited to class or social status and that everyone should have access to fine chocolate. Our business plan? Spread joy with Chuao.

What makes your business stand out?

Chuao Chocolatier is unique for many reasons, but it really starts with Chef Michael. He has a gift of creatively layering flavors like spice, exotic fruit caramel, and even comfort foods like potato chips, with textures like popping candy and rich, silky chocolate. He wants to see goosebumps, eyes close. He wants to hear happy noises and hear giggles. His goal is to arouse your senses with every bite and it's apparent in every chocolate experience. Chef Michael's passion for life is intoxicating and it helped Chuao Chocolatier attract our "dream team". Our little chocolate family is made up of a bunch of fabulous people who LOVE our chocolate and want to use it to bring smiles to faces. We all have the end goal in mind and that unity, combined with a phenomenal, artisanal product, sets Chuao Chocolatier apart from other chocolate companies. We are growing, but we are still a family owned and operated start up, founded on a dream and run on passion.

What's the best business advice you've received?

The best business advice we've ever received is to never owe more than you can pay. Chef Michael learned this lesson at a young age from his father, who shared it verbally, but even more so through example, paying for his cars in full and never overextending his credit. He once asked Chef Michael, "what would you do if I gave you $200,000?" When Michael said "invest it," his father replied, "no. You should pay down your mortgage. Never owe more than you can pay." The Antonorsi brothers have taken their father's valuable advice to heart, only investing in the business as much as they could afford and choosing level headed financial decisions over tempting offers and more aggressive perspectives. Their combination of calculated risk taking and fiscal responsibility has been part of Chuao's recipe for success.

Mark Your Calendar

    Aug. 31, 2015

    Final day for entering the Audience Choice Award competition.

    Oct. 19, 2015

    Final day to cast your vote for your favorite makers.

    Oct. 23, 2015

    2015 Editors' Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.

    See past Award Winners
    Nov. 7, 2015

    Don’t miss our networking event and maker lecture series in New York City. Tickets are available now.

    Discover the American Made Summit

More Finalists

  • 2015 Audience Choice Winner

    Baiser Beauty

    Erika Arguello & Claudia Llamosa & Maria Copello
    Baiser Beauty is a natural luxury skin care and beauty line handcrafted in Miami Beach with 100% certified organic ingredients.
    Style, Beauty
  • 2015 Design Finalist

    Faithful Scents

    Danielle Sedler
    Clean burning candles made with the finest American made products. Cotton wicks, phthlatate free oils, soy wax, mason jars. Small Batch.
    Design, Furniture & Home Accessories
  • 2015 Food Finalist

    Blueberry Haven

    Tiffany Balk
    Blueberry Haven - locally grown and produced blueberry products in Grand Haven, Michigan. Beaches, Berries and Bliss.
    Food, Bottled, Jarred & Canned
  • 2015 Style Finalist

    Lelet NY

    Sara Bieler Sasson
    We are a luxury made in America hair accessory brand catering to the modern woman who is equal parts feminine and fierce.
    Style, Accessories