An Adventurous Career in Chocolate - View the video

Gail Ambrosius

Gail Ambrosius
Gail Ambrosius Chocolatier

2086 Atwood Avenue
Madison, WI 53704


Career Clusters / Help Topics:

  • Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Hospitality and Tourism

Gail Ambrosius grew up as one of 10 kids on a dairy farm in Seymour, Wisconsin. She was always helping her mother in the kitchen, which fostered a lifelong love of cooking. When she was 17, she went on a French Club school trip to Paris. One afternoon, she was accidentally separated from her group for a day. She bought her first dark chocolate and had a revelation—it was the best thing she had ever tasted and nothing like the chocolate at home. She dreamed of owning her own chocolate shop, like the ones in Paris. After high school, convinced by friends and family that chocolate making was an impractical career choice, Ambrosius moved to Madison and worked a variety of jobs from retail sales to waitress. She got married, had a son, divorced, and studied cartography at the University of Wisconsin. She worked as a mapmaker for the State of Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for a decade until she was laid off. When the layoff happened, Gail was ready to realize her dream. She took an online course through Ecole Chocolat, a professional school for chocolate making. She returned to France for hands-on instruction from the renowned Valrhona and Cluizel chocolatiers Gail opened her first chocolate shop in Madison in 2004 with help from friends and family. In less than six years, she has gained a national reputation for her dark chocolate truffles. In 2010, she was recognized by the Food Network for making “America’s best little box of chocolates.”

Learn what it’s like to have your own chocolate company from nationally known chocolatier, Gail Ambrosius. Gail has traveled to France to learn how to make chocolate. She visits cacao farms, where the beans that make chocolate are grown, in Ecuador, Venezuela and Costa Rica. She brings that world of experience back to her shop, where she and her staff make dark chocolate truffles by hand that are shipped around the country. (Running Time 19:17)