'Whatever we sell is going to go mean something to somebody'

'Whatever we sell is going to go mean something to somebody'

EUGENE, Ore. - Larry Bradley has been in the chocolate game for a few years now.

His business, Chocolate Decadence, wouldn't be possible without Valentine's Day.

"It's our biggest holiday of the year," Bradley said. "It puts us on the map - people think of chocolate. I mean there are other things you can do for Valentine's Day as well, but if it weren't for Valentine's Day, we'd just close it up and go home."

Bradley's business caters to people seeking a certain sort of chocolate. The company specializes in dairy free, gluten free and vegan chocolate.

That distinction attracts some consumers but confuses others, he said.

"When I went out to market the chocolates locally to people as a vegan, dairy free, gluten free chocolate, many people turned and walked the other way," Bradley recalled. "They said, 'No thank you, I like the good stuff, and I thought, 'Whoa whoa whoa whoa, hang on a second: this is the good stuff.' "

Bradley believes the work and care that goes into their chocolate erases people's doubts.

Employees do everything by hand.

"We actually, we bust up chocolate. It's very manual - this is a mom and pop operation," he said. "I know that whatever we sell is going to go mean something to somebody in a personal way."

Bradley can't pinpoint why he bought the company.

"I got into the chocolate business ... I don't know, maybe I had a bad day?" he joked.

He stays in it for one reason.

"Chocolate is fun," he said.