CHARLESTON, W.Va. — There’s that universal look from a parent to a child, when a child asks a question and the answer returned is a very clear, “No.”
No words have to be exchanged. There’s no shaking of the head. It’s just a firm, self-explanatory expression.
Dominique Holl remembers his father’s “look” well.
He got it many times in his early 20s, when he was fresh out of college and trading in his textbook days for a spatula and apron to learn the family business, Holl’s Chocolates, from his father, Fritz.
When Dominique started, in the early 1990s, Holl’s Chocolates was taking off. After Fritz retired from Broughton Dairy in Marrietta, Ohio, in the ’80s, he returned to the trade that he had studied more than 30 years prior — the art of Swiss chocolate making — which was just one of the skills he learned to become a master conditor in Switzerland.
After starting in their family’s kitchen, the business moved to a small storefront on Parkersburg’s north end. It moved again to its current location in Vienna, around the time Dominique joined the business.
It was a collision of sorts…