Valenza Chocolatieris deeply honored to announce the achievement of receiving the Six Star Grand Master Award for Best Chocolatiers & Confectioners in America by The International Chocolate Salon and TasteTV. The 2015 awards were formally announced at the San Francisco International Chocolate Salon amongst many of the states’ most talented chocolatiers and artisans. Many of these businesses have existed for several decades; for Valenza Chocolatierit has been just shy of two years since they launched in Orange County. The Six Star Grand Master Award is the highest level of recognition and was awarded to just 18 Chocolatiers this year. Owner and Certified Master Chocolatier Amy Jo (Valenza) Pedone explained that it has been a humbling experience to achieve this level of prestige among a peer group she shares such tremendous respect for.
“This award has simply been the ‘icing on the cake’ to a whirlwind adventure of taking a risk to pursue my passion. Several years ago, I could have never imagined the level of support I have received from the community and beyond, I am excited for what the future holds, while perfectly content knowing that I can live without regret, doing what I love”.
In 2008 Amy Jo (Valenza) Pedone made the courageous decision to leave behind her successful corporate career to pursue a passion in which she had no previous professional experience. The passing of her cousin Sheri at a young age led her to realize that life is too short to look back on life with the question of ‘what if?’ In 2011 she completed her Professional Chocolatier Certification through Ecole Chocolat Professional School of Chocolate Arts in Vancouver, Canada; at the 2015 International Chocolate Salon Awards alone, 11 of the award winners (including Amy Jo) were alumni of Ecole Chocolat. From there she completed an internship at CocoaNymph, trained with Chef Chocolatier Patrick Peeters and finally traveled back to her homeland of Italy, to complete the Ecole Chocolat Master Chocolatier Certification in 2013.
May 9th will mark the official two-year anniversary since Valenza Chocolatier launched to the Orange County public at the Hood Kitchen Space in Costa Mesa. Earlier this month, Amy Jo (Valenza) Pedone was nominated by the Orange County Business Journal for the Excellence in Entrepreneurship Awards. In addition to receiving the 2015 Six Star Grand Master Award, past awards have included Gold Award for Best Salon at the 2014 Los Angeles Chocolate Salon as well as 2014 Five Star Award for Best Chocolatiers & Confectioners in America by The International Chocolate Salon and TasteTV.
Two years and many accomplishments later, Amy Jo encourages others to pursue their dreams, “Regardless of age or where you’re at in life, never give up on something you are truly passionate about; the possibilities are too great to miss out on”.