International Chocolatiers come to St. Louis for a yummy convention

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MAPLEWOOD,  MO (KTVI) - One of the yummiest conventions in the world is in town sampling some St. Louis chocolate.

Who can take a sunrise, sprinkle it with dew, cover it with chocolate and a miracle or two?
Retail Confectioners International, that's who.

“A group of international chocolatiers who make their own chocolate products and sell them at retail,” says Virginia Whetstone Maguire, President of the Retail Confectioners International.

This annual meeting has brought the Willy and Wilma Wonkas of the world to Maplewood for a tour of Kakao chocolate.

“Most of our members tell me how can you work around candy all day and not be happy about it,” laughs Denise Alvarez.

The group's can-do approach to the confectionery business means these men and women share their sweet recipe's for success.

“So one of great things about this business is we share a lot of information about what we're doing,” says Brian Pelletier, owner of Kakao Chocolate.

“I just learned something from Brian,” adds Whetstone Maguire.  “So his marshmallow doesn't stick in the bag, he combines powdered sugar and corn starch and it doesn't stick when he sticks it in the packages.”

The back and forth between confectioners is a great way to take a new idea for a spin.

“What we did before is we'd hold the spatula in our hand and we'd switch hands back and forth cause you have to wipe off the caramel when it's done,” says Pelletier.

Kakao has cut the time it takes them to hand dip caramels by 20 percent, and this all for one and one for all motto means success for these chocolatiers.

“Are you ever tired of chocolate?” asks Patrick Clark. “Never,” says a smiling Alvarez. “Never ever.”

That's why the candy men and women can, because they meet once a year and make the world taste good.