How Valenza Chocolatier started when a real estate businesswoman began searching for her real passion

Feb 04, 2019 347

Amy Jo Pedone, owner of Valenza Chocolatier, sits in a 400-square foot studio that she calls the Cioccolato Lab at The Hood Kitchen Space in Costa Mesa. It’s almost Valentine’s Day, one of her busiest times of the year yet she’s not haggard, she’s downright bubbly. But she’s a very different person than she was in the spring of 2007, attending a family gathering in Madison, Wisconsin.

So much was happening in her tight-knit Italian-American clan: grandma was downsizing, one cousin was showing off a new baby and her closest cousin, Sheri, was fighting cancer. Still, she looked radiant, with her hair grown out after chemo therapy. “It was an out-of-body moment with my world here vs. where I grew up,” she said.

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