L.A. Burdick Chocolate, Today
L.A. Burdick includes a flourishing, worldwide mail order business, retail chocolate shops in Boston and Cambridge, Mass., New York City and Walpole, N.H., a French-inspired restaurant and a small specialty grocery store.
The company has changed, but our methods and values have not. We still import only the best couvertures from Switzerland, France and Venezuela, made with cocoa beans sourced primarily from South and Central America and the Caribbean. Confections are made in small batches and, eschewing molds, we cut and shape our bonbons by hand. Complementing flavors and ingredients come directly from their sources, never from extracts, concentrates or artificial flavorings.
Efforts to procure ingredients of superlative quality led us to help establish the Cocoa Farming Future Initiative in Grenada. We support cocoa farmers on the famed “Spice Isle” by broadening the use of the fragrant and expressive beans they grow there.
Our success has led us to give back within our community. Together with Southwestern Community Services we created a program directly assisting families with children living in or transitioning out of shelters. We help them get back on their feet, often times providing the critical assistance that allows them to stay together or to be reunited. We also support the Fall Mountain Food Shelf throughout the year by donating food, collecting warm clothing, and running a toy drive during the holidays.
L.A. Burdick Chocolate would not be what it is today without the daily influence and steady guidance of two important people: Michael Klug and Cathy Watson.
As the chocolatier of L.A. Burdick Chocolate, Michael’s responsibility is to develop the flavors, textures and complexities found in our confections, while maintaining the integrity and freshness the company is known for. A native of Montabaur, Germany, a small town located between Frankfurt and Cologne, Michael began his career in the food industry in 1986, eventually joining L.A. Burdick Chocolate in October 2002. His considerable expertise as chocolatier developed from his experience as a pastry chef at notable New York restaurants such as Lespinasse, Chanterelle and The Mark. When he is not immersed in chocolate, Michael enjoys fine wines and spending time with his wife and son.
As Chief Operating Officer, Cathy is essential to the operation of L.A. Burdick Chocolate. Words that best describe her approach are: omnipresent, vigilant and hands-on. Her 37 years of experience in the service industry have taught her that every aspect of a company is essential to the overall well-being of the same. This includes familiarity with more than 150 employees, knowing their job responsibilities, and how each department affects the end result.
Cathy joined Burdick Chocolate in May 2001, eventually becoming responsible for the mail order business, the chocolate shops and teas rooms in Cambridge, Boston and New York, and the home base retail location in Walpole, N.H., as well as The Restaurant and Walpole Grocery.
She is married with three children and grandchildren.