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Katrina Markoff        

Founder & CEO, Vosges Haut-Chocolat

Katrina Markoff is the founder and CEO of Vosges Haut-Chocolat, a gourmet chocolate company based in Chicago. She was honored as the Woman Entrepreneur of the Year in 2007 by OPEN American Express & Entrepreneur Magazine.

Katrina launched her gourmet chocolate company in 1998. While working out of her Chicago apartment, she created a line of specialty chocolates using a variety of exotic ingredients from around the world. Katrina first shopped her chocolates to Neiman Marcus, who originally gave her a weak response, but she didn't give up. Instead, she left some of her chocolate samples with the Neiman Marcus buyer, and the next day he called and asked for more, which he left in the company's break room. The employees loved them, and the next thing Katrina knew, her chocolates were being sold at Neiman Marcus.

Katrina followed that initial success by branching out of her apartment and opening a retail store in Chicago just two months after her chocolates launched in Neiman Marcus. Later, she added a mail order catalog and a website to her distribution points and claims that was when her brand began to skyrocket.

In 2007, Vosges Haut-Chocolat generated nearly $12 million in sales. It's not surprising Katrina Markoff was named Woman of the Year by OPEN from American Express & Entrepreneur magazine. There are now seven Vosges Haut-Chocolat stores open in the United States, including five in Chicago.

Katrina leads her company with a focus on keeping her staff creative and relaxed. To prove her commitment to what she calls the lifestyle component of her business, her employees participate in a weekly yoga class at the office. She has a strong understanding of the importance of her employees, stating that each one of them plays a role in the company's success and has an opportunity to make changes to better the company.

Katrina's focus on lifestyle doesn't stop with her employees. She also leads her company with a keen eye on the environment. The Vosges Haut-Chocolat headquarters runs on 100% renewable energy. Vosges Haut-Chocolat's latest endeavor is the construction of a Platinum LEED-certified green manufacturing and chocolate lifestyle house in Chicago

Katrina is the recipient of numerous accolades including being named one of The Top 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company, Fortune Magazine’s 40 Under 40, the Bon Appétit Food Artisan of the Year Award, and “THE innovator in chocolate to lead the US through the next 30 years” by Food & Wine Magazine. Most recently, Vosges Haut-Chocolat was named one of the 10 Best Chocolatiers in the World by National Geographic.


Renowned Windy City confectioner Vosges Haut-Chocolate celebrates 20 years in style with the opening of Innovation Hall.
Katrina Markoff Is Changing the World with Chocolate
The founder of Vosges Haut-Chocolat is using her sweet talents to empower women around the world.
Empowering women through different initiatives in the workplace
A portion of sales from Wild Ophelia products fund the Wild Ophelia Accelerator program, created by Katrina Markoff to encourage, educate and help propel American high school and college girls who have entrepreneurial dreams in food. To fulfill this mission, Wild Ophelia provides three ambitious girls per year with the funds and mentorship needed to start a business.
Meet Katrina Markoff - Chicago’s luxury chocolate maker
Katrina Markoff already worked at the world’s best restaurant and thought she was on the right path. Then she started Vosges Haut-Chocolat.
Katrina Markoff of Wild Ophelia Dishes on Breaking the Mold and Creating a Chocolate Company
You may think beef jerky and cayenne peppers are ingredients best kept far away from chocolate, but the geniuses at Wild Ophelia makes it work in their chocolate bars. From BBQ Potato Chip Dark Chocolate to Crispy Chia Seed Peanut Butter Cups, these Americana confections are a far cry from your childhood milk chocolate bars. Even better – all of the brands’ products are Fair Trade, gluten-free, and non-GMO.
Vosges CEO Katrina Markoff: 'You just keep trying until you get yes'
For many, the first taste of a Vosges Haut-Chocolat truffle is a leap of faith. Defying convention, these creations combine top-flight chocolate with candied violet flower, or wasabi and ginger, or horseradish and lemon zest, or some other seeming mismatch. That there's harmony in the discordant notes can be a revelation.
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Chicago chocolate artisan Katrina Markoff prepares Vosges, Wild ...
If you haven't heard of Vosges Haut-Chocolat or Wild Ophelia, founder Katrina Markoff hopes that's only temporary. The high-end Chicago-based chocolatier is  ...
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