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Meet Yeli Marshall of Yelibelly Chocolates in Addison

Today we’d like to introduce you to Yeli Marshall.

Yeli was enjoying life as a dietitian and belly dance instructor until a fateful trip in 2006.

When she traveled overseas to Italy, she discovered flavor-infused chocolates she had never seen before. Flavors that made you FEEL the flavor and not just taste it – Rose, lavender and even cedar infused chocolates.

She brought back that inspiration and started making her own chocolates in 2007. Since then she has worked at perfecting various flavors to entice her friends and family.

Friends suggested to her that she should consider selling the chocolates in boutiques around the metroplex. The first boutique to carry the chocolates was a dance studio where she was teaching belly dance. After searching for a name that truly told the story about her chocolates, a friend suggested melding her name and her passion – dance!

Therefore, came the name Yelibelly Chocolates. The original tag line was – Flavors that make your belly dance!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
A smooth road? What’s that?! Being an entrepreneur is terrifying and exhilarating at the same time.

Making chocolate was a hobby for many years until my husband encouraged me to take a leap, quit my full-time job as a dietitian and try my hand at making delicious chocolate confections full time.

It was scary at first, always working to sell one more box of truffles here or there. My goal was always to keep the company in the black and at least making enough profit to bring some money back to the family. Thankfully, with careful planning and hard work, this has always been the case. Not always easy for a small business to do!

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Yelibelly Chocolates story. Tell us more about the business.
There are 3 things that Yelibelly Chocolates is known for:
1) Amazing flavor infused truffles
2) Chocolate covered Oreos
3) Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream

Each of our chocolates and flavor-infused ganaches are hand-crafted in small batches using natural ingredients. No preservatives are used in our ethically-sourced chocolate. We use real cream and butter in each batch of ganache and you will be able to taste the difference!

We work hard to develop new flavors all the time. Utilizing Yeli’s background in food science helps in developing new ideas and flavor profiles.

The chocolates that we have won the most awards with are a line of spicy, flavor-infused truffles like Habanero and Thai Chili Pepper. We strive to offer the original chocolate favorites like mint, orange or even rose…but we may be best known for our spicy chocolates and the Chocolate Wasted Collection – truffles infused with liqueurs and spirits like espresso rum, Chambord, bourbon whiskey and more.

The most addicting confection we make is probably the chocolate covered Oreos. Double stuffed goodness, coated in a semi-sweet chocolate and decorated with beautiful patterns, designs and even logos and monograms.

Yeli has a background in food science and culinary arts which she pairs together to make liquid nitrogen ice cream and other forms of molecular gastronomy. It started out as just something we offered in store for our own events…now we travel the metroplex making ice cream on site using liquid nitrogen for weddings, parties and corporate events.

We are currently expanding our teaching schedule. Yeli has a passion for sharing the chocolate craft. With a 3000 sq. ft. kitchen to work with in Addison, we have the space for it now! Private classes are taught regularly but open classes will begin soon. Join us and let’s get chocolate wasted!

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Luck has nothing to do with it. Hard work and perseverance is what has paid off!

I have run into MANY roadblocks along the way and each has made me a smarter business owner and a tougher competitor in the chocolate industry. I may not be the most well-known chocolatier in the US or even locally but we are a hidden gem to the many friends and fans that know about us.

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageDallas is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Gina

    October 18, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    Truest a local gem! Best chocolates ever!!!

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