This article was written following an interview with Leigh Williams which took place on June 21, 2010.
Though Leigh Williams, founder of Laughing Moon Chocolates, in Stowe, has a passion for traveling, she feels that her Vermont roots allow her to reach out and give much to the world. Indeed, Laughing Moon Chocolates provides a sweet outlet for Williams’ generosity and vision. Our Stowe Chocolatière creates delicious handmade chocolates with the big picture in mind.
Williams lived in Nepal for a year while in college. She continues to assist a Nepali family to this day. It is obviously natural for her to lend time and effort to improving the lives of children and families. She speaks of this with confidence and kindness. It simply flows from her. She reaches out globally and locally, supporting such causes as A Child’s Right, NY-based Educate the Children and VT Refugee Resettlement Program.
Her broad vision does not lead to oversight, however. Leigh greatly values business associations with local merchants. For instance, Laughing Moon’s Bayley Hazen Blue Cheese Truffles are made with Greensboro’s Jasper Hill Farm Cheese. More recently, Leigh has begun developing a dark chocolate/cardamom recipe with the assistance of Fine Wine Cellars of Stowe. It promises to be nothing short of admirable with a glass of red.
She tells me that specific rules apply to the fashioning of chocolate edibles. One must understand the strengths and weaknesses of the substance and its chemistry, but this does not necessarily limit possibilities. How many different concoctions can one possibly create with chocolate? Well, hundreds, and the Laughing Moon Chocolates team is not afraid to experiment or listen to suggestions from fans and visitors. A recent request: chocolate covered bacon. Oddly enough, this does not sound like a bad idea at all!
Leigh, it seems, gracefully embraces a multi-faceted life filled with simultaneous experiences, responsibilities and flavors. She acquired her first shop in 2001 and proceeded to organize, decorate, renovate and set it up while pregnant. Baby came into the world on April 29, 2002; Laughing Moon Chocolates welcomed its first client on May 3 of the same year.
Leigh began her apprenticeship in Cape Cod, with second-generation Chocolatière Naomi Turner. She has since developed her own line and the many delights that await visitors in the Laughing Moon Chocolates displays make it rather difficult to refrain from indulging; not that we should, mind you! The presentation is refreshing and impeccable, the taste is unforgettable.
Perhaps Laughing Moon Chocolates is a metaphor for Leigh Williams’ ability to embrace diversity in the world, in the community and also in her immediate, creative life. And chocolate is the sweet expression of her gift for giving.
Laughing Moon Chocolates is located at 78 South Main Street, Stowe.