7/27/2014

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Cowgirl Chocolate business is born from practical joke using hot ingredients

Cowgirl Chocolate business is born from practical joke using hot ingredients
MOSCOW, ID - A Moscow-based business that started selling spicy chocolates online in the 90's is now a local tourist attraction that ships treats all around the world.

As you may have guessed, we're talking about Cowgirl Chocolates. Reporter Rachel Dubrovin explains how the business actually started, with a practical joke.

"It's an adventure having a business, in particular with chocolates, it's just so much fun," said Cowgirl Chocolates Owner Marilyn Lysohir.

Moscow resident Marilyn Lysohir started making truffles with ingredients like cayenne and habanero pepper in 1996, but she said her brother is the one who came up with the idea.

"He thought this would be a great, new way to handle chocolate," said Lysohir. "So he went down to the factory, and they thought it was stupid but they didn't say anything to him. So they said, 'Oh, well we'll do your experiment for you,' and they put too much as a joke."

That's when Lysohir took matters into her own hands.

"I started experimenting in my kitchen, and was doing spicy truffles," said Lysohir. "And people loved them."

She said before she knew it, she was working with a factory ti fill orders for local and international businesses.

We've had orders coming in from Norway, Chezosky Vachia, Puerto Rico."

And in 2002, the Food Network featured her spicy truffles on a couple of their shows.

"Woke up the next morning to the phones ringing, the faxes going off, and I opened up the internet orders, and it just went on and on," said Lysohir.

Lysohir said a couple years later, she decided it was time to open an actual store so people could come by and test out the product before purchasing it.

"About three seconds, it's a delay," said Lysohir. "You eat it, and then three seconds later you'll feel the heat."

If you're not into spicy food, they've got a variety of non-spicy flavors. But they're best known for their chocolates with a kick, like spicy hazelnut and spicy cappuccino.

"We go through about 8,000 or more pounds a year," said Lysohir.

These days, the Moscow store sees its fair share of regulars.

"I came from Kewanee, Illinois the hog capital of the world," said customer Donna Krahn. "My daughter lives in Colfax, and every time we come into see her, we have to come into Cowgirl Chocolates. Once we tried it, completely understood why it's such a big deal."

If you're looking for a last minute Christmas gift, the Cowgirl Chocolate Shop is open on Saturday from 10 a.m. till 5:30 p.m. We'll also post a link to their website on klewtv.com.
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