Company Profile

COMPANY:Maggie Louise Confections

2018 INC. 5000 RANK: 287

HEADQUARTERS: Austin, TX

YEAR FOUNDED: 2014

2017 REVENUE: $2.2 million

3-YEAR GROWTH: 1,703%

EMPLOYEES: 43

Maggie Louise Callahan grew up in a home suffused with color and exceptional access to artists' tools and disciplines--her mother was an abstract painter. A law degree from Harvard led to a slightly less colorful, albeit challenging, career structuring complex and highly detailed financial transactions and working in venture capital. But after several years as an attorney, and a relocation to Austin as a trailing spouse, Callahan yearned to reconnect with, and be inspired by, the art of her childhood.

She enrolled in a professional pastry program and experienced what she called a "chocolate moment." She was intrigued by "tiny little sculptures that were so whimsical and cool, made with molds of designs that I had no idea existed," she says. Surely, other entrepreneurs had explored the potential of chocolate candy as art. They hadn't. She bought a supply of two dozen unique and fanciful molds, and hand-painted her creations. "Once I got the spark, I was all in." 

1. At the Austin factory, jars hold cocoa butter tinted with oil-based food color. The mold is coated with the cocoa butter, and the color adheres to the chocolate's surface. Chocoholics can customize their orders--$1,000 minimum--from Callahan's style library of shapes, colors, painting techniques, and sheen.

2. The clear mold holds the colors that will coat these cactus confections, a popular item among Texans.

3. A stream of chocolate is poured into a cactus mold that's been painted moss green for the plant, pink for the blooms, and black for the pot.

4. Having filled the cactus mold--salted caramel is the most popular offering--the chocolatier scrapes off the excess outer-shell material.

5. These chocolate ice cream cones are part of a $25 box that includes three hamburgers, lips, and a strawberry.

6. Callahan knew that lipstick-shaped chocolate would be a big hit at beauty-inspired events and women's celebrations. She found a mold supplier and then created packaging for foolproof shipping. These are part of the Hello, Gorgeous! box.

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From the September 2018 issue of Inc. Magazine